Energy bills rise five times faster than income
Since 2004 the average household energy bill has rocketed by 140% compared to a 20% increase in the average household income.
Eight years ago the average household spent £522 a year on electricity and gas but now it has hit £1,232, according to research from uSwitch.com. This means that people spend 3.2% of their household income on energy bills, up from 1.6% in 2004.
"The break-neck speed at which energy prices have sprinted upwards has caught many people unawares. Consumers are still playing catch-up," says Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com.
Rocketing energy prices mean it is now the top household worry with 90% of the people surveyed saying that they are concerned about their energy bills. Last winter 83% of us cut down or rationed our energy use due to concerns about costs.
"Energy now accounts for a significant slice of household income which is why the numbers rationing their energy use have risen so steeply in recent years.
"But going cold or without is a short-term and potentially harmful fix and not a long-term solution," says Robinson.
Instead, she advises people to make their homes more energy efficient and make sure they on the most competitive deal. "The fact is that consumers can control how much they spend on energy by making their homes more energy efficient and paying less for the energy they do use by moving to a competitively priced energy play," she adds.