1 in 4 people are living in the cold because they can’t afford heating

Fuel poverty affects thousands across the country every year.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 1:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 1:54 pm
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New research, by switching company MoneyExpert, has polled people about whether or not they can actually afford to heat their homes despite the rising prices of energy.

Across the nation, more than 1 in 4 people (28%) admit that they are forced to live in the cold because they cannot afford to heat their homes. Regionally this percentage is highest in London, where a third of respondents (34%) cannot afford to adequately heat their homes. This is followed by people in the South West (33%) and North East (33%).

People have also listed their most common methods for reducing utility costs. Turning down the thermostat comes in as the top habit, as well as washing clothes at a low temperature. People also unplug devices and appliances on standby, and go as far as investing in double glazing, roof insulation and draught-proofing their homes to protect themselves from the cold.

Council tax comes in as the biggest sting to the wallet per month, with 44% of people surveyed saying that this is their biggest expense of the month. But, to top the utility bills each month, electricity leads with a massive 56%.

And when it comes to knowledge about the constantly shifting laws around energy prices, people living in the South East and East Midlands have the lowest awareness of the new price cap on energy tariffs. 47% of respondents in the South East and 47% in the East Midlands said that they hadn’t heard about it.

Finding a more competitive tariff is by far the biggest motivator for switching, according to respondents, with 82% of responses. On average, people feel they had saved £301 through switching providers.