Energy prices can differ by up to £92 across the UK, with the highest in seyside and north Wales and lowest bills in the north of Scotland and the east midlands.
The average UK energy bill is £1,325 (March 2012), but for those in the north west, where unemployment is the second-highest in the UK, the average is around £1,373. This is £79 more than those in the south west, and £92 higher than for people in northern Scotland.
In the west midlands energy prices are the second highest, around £1,333 a year, while London energy bills are some of the cheapest at £1,293 a year.
These findings from the energyhelpline.com demonstrate how your location can greatly affect your living costs, from housing to energy. Visit our guide to cutting energy costs to see how you could make simple changes and save money.
Home editor Natalie Hitchins says: ‘People have told us that rising energy bills are their biggest financial worry, and this research indicates that regional variations in prices could be adding strain to some of the hardest hit by the recession.
‘This underlines just how important it is to regularly check energy prices to make sure the deal you are on remains the most affordable throughout the year. Comparing gas and electricity suppliers and prices in your area takes just a few minutes – but could cut hundreds of pounds from your annual energy bill.’
Cut energy costs
As well as switching to the cheapest tariff, there are ways that you can reduce your bills by ensuring you save on energy. Here are some of the things you could do and how much you would shave off your bills each year as a result:
- Use energy-saving light bulbs – save £45
- Cut draughts – save £25
- Install loft insulation – save £175
- Choose energy efficient gadgets – save £84
- Turn down your thermostat – save 10%
It’s also worth seeing if you are eligible for any free government energy grants or help with your energy bills, such as free insulation and social tariffs.