U.K to Spend an Extra £29 Billion a Year* on Running the Home

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U.K feeling the strain of rising household bills - and itÂ?s set to get worse forecasts uSwitch.comÂ?s Â?Spendable Income IndexÂ?

Britain’s households will have to spend a further £1,200 each year from as early as 2005 to cope with the rising cost of household bills forecasts uSwitch.com’s new ‘Spendable Income Index’.

The index, produced by CEBR for independent comparison and switching service http://www.uSwitch.com, looks at the amount of ‘spare cash’ households have left after tax and essential household spending. The findings will come as a further blow to households - uSwitch.com’s consumer survey** reveals 7 out of 10 people already feel that more of their cash than ever before is going towards household bills. And of these, a third (30%) find managing these bills puts a real strain on their finances.

uSwitch.com’s Spendable Income Index reveals that:

  •     The cost of servicing the household is rising. Price rises in utilities (water, gas and electric) building insurance, council tax and mortgage payments will have the biggest impact on our pockets.
  •     The cost of essential items is set to grow by 2.8% over the next year compared to an average growth of just 2% a year since 1995. However, this doesn’t take into consideration sharp rises in the price of petrol, wholesale gas and interest rates which would see households paying even more.

Andrew Salmon, managing director of uSwitch.com commented: “Households have become used to spending less on big ticket household items such as electrical goods and have also benefited from a decline in the cost of core household services in recent years. However, that’s all about to change and people will need to start shopping around for cheaper goods and services, or be prepared to pay more for the lifestyle they have become accustomed to.”

Many key items such as gas, household consumables, contents insurance and water have been growing at a slower rate than the retail price index (RPI); while electricity, electric appliances and clothing have actually fallen over the past nine years. However, these areas are creeping up in price and look set to continue the upward trend.

Salmon concludes: “Its not all doom and gloom, there is some good news for households - telecoms costs are set to reduce over the next year as recent price wars – prompted by BT price changes - filter through to telephone users.”

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Evans, uSwitch.com on 0207 802 2923 or [email protected]

Beverley Aujla, Lansons Communications on 020 7294 3683 or [email protected]

Alison Merrigan, Lansons Communications on 0207 294 3634 or [email protected]

Helen Wallace, Lansons Communications on 0207 294 3604 or [email protected]

Notes to editors:

  • Figure based on 24.3million households in UK paying on average £1,200 more on household bills.

** Consumer research was conducted by YouGov.

Full report is available by contacting 0207 294 3634 or 0207 802 2923.

uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and phone based comparison and switching service which helps consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, home telephone, digital television and personal finance products. Our aim is to help customers take advantage of the best tariffs and services on offer from every supplier. The company has developed a calculator which evaluates a number of factors including price, location, service and payment method, and advises consumers on the best deal to suit their needs.

If they chose to, consumers can switch while they’re online or phone customer services direct.

The service is also available via telephone, fax and post. Consumers can call on 0800 093 06 07, fax 020 7233 5933 or write to Customer Services, uSwitch.com, 10th Floor, Portland House, Stag Place, London, SW1E 5BH , with their post-code and usage details.

uSwitch.com is not a supplier but acts as an independent advisor, giving consumers an impartial view of what’s on offer. Unlike traditional brokers, it compares prices from all energy suppliers, not just those it has a commercial relationship with. The service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by the supplier companies and industry regulators.

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Michael Phillips
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