Debt concerns ‘increased through energy costs’

The debt concerns of many people in Britain are being exacerbated by the cost of energy bills, new research has indicated.

According to a survey co…

The debt concerns of many people in Britain are being exacerbated by the cost of energy bills, new research has indicated.

According to a survey conducted by uSwitch.com, 61 per cent of households in the UK are worried about the amount of money they will have to part with to settle their bills this winter.

The price comparison website discovered 20 per cent of families are already struggling to make these payments.

Moreover, the investigation revealed 73 per cent have already reduced their energy usage in an effort to keep the payments manageable.

This equates to around 19 million households cutting back on the energy they require.

Almost three-quarters of those questioned (72 per cent) stated they are now more aware of these prices as a result of the harsh winter experienced last year.

Nearly half of those quizzed (48 per cent) have taken measures to make their homes more energy-efficient because of the cold in 2009, the study found.

However, the report indicated 17 per cent of households went without any heating or were deprived of adequate warmth because they were fearful of the costs.

It revealed only 55 per cent of respondents were able to heat their dwellings last year without having to sacrifice anything.

Director of consumer policy at the portal Ann Robinson said: “It is vital that the right balance is achieved between being energy efficient and being energy deficient – the idea of people going without energy in the winter has got to set alarm bells ringing.”

A recent study from moneysupermarket.com showed individuals are more concerned about the amount of cash they are going to spend this festive season than they were 12 months ago.

By James Francis

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