Skip to content

Around 30 million people are expected to spend more than a tenth of their income on energy bills by end of 2012, according to new research.

SwitchGasandElectric.com reported that half of Britons will be living in fuel poverty – spending more than a tenth of their income on energy bills – by the end of the year.

Research by the energy price comparison site into the proportion of household income spent on fuel bills in 13,000 homes across the UK found that 37 per cent were already spending more than 10 per cent of their income on gas and electricity bills.

And a further 13 per cent – or one in eight households – will fall into fuel poverty if suppliers increase their prices as expected later this summer.

That would leave half of all households spending a tenth of their income on fuel.

Data published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently suggested that 3.9m in England will fall into fuel poverty during 2012.

However, the research by SwitchGasandElectric.com suggests the problem is far more serious.

Nearly 23m already live in households where fuel accounts for more than a tenth of their income, with this summer’s anticipated price rises expected to push a further 7m people into the same category.

SwitchGasandElectric.com managing director Sally Hill said: “What the government data does not reveal is the huge number of Britons who are already forced to spend more than a tenth of their income on gas and electricity bills.

“With that figure only set to rise, and with food bills and living expenses escalating too, most Britons are going to see their finances severely squeezed even further this winter.

“We’re desperately urging consumers to get switched on. By simply using an accredited energy pricing comparison site and paying by direct debit, households can reduce their energy bills by up to 20 per cent – which for many is the equivalent of putting £250 back in the family kitty.”

H&V News, 7 June 2012