New research by home insurance provider Swiftcover.com has found gas and electricity bills to be people’s biggest financial worry.
The insurer found that 39% of consumers said they struggled to afford their gas and electricity bills, with a further one in four (23%) mortgage holders concerned about being able to meet monthly payments.
It also revealed a steady rise in concerns over utility payments with age. Only a fifth of 16 to 24 year-olds worry about their utility bills, compared with nearly half (47%) of people between the ages of 45 and 55 citing gas and electricity payments as their biggest concern.
More affordable energy needed
Which?’s own research has also shown that energy prices are consumers’ biggest financial concern at the moment. We want to see excessively complex tariffs stamped out, and we’re campaigning for energy regulator Ofgem to do just that.
The recent energy summit has given consumers some relief before the winter sets in, with some suppliers pledging to freeze prices and offer additional help.
Next steps for energy
The government has launched a campaign to encourage people to ‘Check, switch and insulate to save’ – offering help and advice that could help them lower their energy bills in time for winter.
Which? is supporting this campaign, but would also like to see the government coming up with a long-term plan that will hold energy companies to account and make sure consumers aren’t kept in the dark.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: ‘The energy companies are agreeing to measures that should have been put in place long ago. To ensure real change, next we need the government to produce an energy plan that shows consumers how they’ll be getting fair and affordable energy.’