Even though the Government has protected winter fuel payments, many people are still going to struggle to make ends meet.
(Vocus) October 29, 2010
Hard-pressed consumers will have to stump up an extra £1.42 billion to meet the nation’s likely energy bill of £12.8 billion this winter, according to energyhelpline.com.
The independent price comparison website said a combination of rising wholesale prices and freezing weather would mean energy customers having to stump up £473 from electricity suppliers for the winter months of December, January and February this year.
The forecast heaps more misery on the nation’s 27 million households which are already reeling after the £81 billion public spending cuts announced in yesterday’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
Mark Todd, director of energyhelpline.com, said: “We believe there will be an increase in domestic prices of five per cent and usage by 10 per cent with weathermen* predicting a repeat of last winter’s harsh conditions.
“This double whammy will send a chill down the spines of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people and ordinary families who are already struggling with tight budgets, shrinking benefits and the prospect of unemployment.
“Even though the Government has protected winter fuel payments, many people are still going to struggle to make ends meet.”
Energyhelpline.com says average bills for gas and electricity could hit £347 and £126 respectively – a £53 rise on a typical energy bill. Hardest hit will be domestic households, but this will also affect commercial premises’ energy bills. For managers of a business electricity and gas price rises are becoming an increasing proportion of their operating costs.
Todd added: “Lots of suppliers have pulled their cheapest energy tariffs but there are still some good online deals to be had which could help customers save £283.**
“People need to act quickly and compare electricity and gas prices because these cheap energy tariffs could be axed at any time against a backdrop of rising wholesale prices.”
Notes to editors:
The calculation of £473 is based on the average UK gas and electricity bill as calculated by OFGEM at £1,150 a year and the typical usage profile of gas and electricity through December-February. From December-February consumers use 30 per cent of their annual electricity usage and 40 per cent of their gas usage. The average annual gas consumption is 20,500 kWh and an average annual electricity consumption is 3,300 kWh.
- Forecasters at Positive Weather Solutions have predicted a repeat of last year’s winter when average temperatures plummeted to 34.7F (1.5C), compared to the long-term average of 38.6F (3.7C).
** The cheapest deal is the EDF Online S@ver 7 at £867 a year, including a £100 cashback. The offer expires at the end of November.