London, UK (PRWEB) October 23, 2011
Hard-pressed consumers will have to pay a record £14.7 billion in the event of a predicted harsh winter, according to research by Energyhelpline.com.
The independent price comparison service said the estimated total was £2.9 billion more than the £11.8 billion last year. Its experts said the 25% increase would come from a combination of rising domestic energy prices and freezing weather and mean energy customers having to stump up an average £564* for the winter months of December, January and February. The gas part of the bill is calculated at £384 and the electricity at £180.
The forecast heaps more misery on the nation’s 26 million households which have recently had to contend with an average 14.4% rise to their bills over the summer. Domestic gas prices are now almost three times what they were at privatisation.
Mark Todd, director of Energyhelpline.com, said: “There is the very real prospect that British households could be facing record fuel bills this winter. This also may mean record numbers of families shivering afraid to turn up the heating.”
“A combination of high domestic energy costs and harsh weather could leave consumers having to fork out well over £550 to cover just three months’ of gas and electricity use.
“At a time when people are already struggling to make ends meet, this will be a huge blow to millions of Britons who can see no end in sight to a seemingly relentless upward spiral in prices.
“As our millionaire Prime Minister flirts with telling families to pay off their store cards millions could be freezing in their homes unable to afford their bills. As David Cameron is tucking into his Christmas goose; millions of UK families could be eating cold turkey instead.”
“I can’t stress enough how vital it is for people to seriously review their energy contracts and switch to another supplier or tariff. Using an energy comparison service, it takes just a few minutes to see how much you can save and a few more to switch. Even though bills are reaching record highs, it is still possible to save about £300 if consumers shop around for a deal, either online or the phone.”
Energyhelpline.com is an independent price comparison service which provides customers with fast, free and friendly advice on their best gas and electricity deal. They operate in the UK and have helped thousands of households and businesses to find better energy packages and pay lower bills.
Notes to editors:
- The calculation of £564 is based on the average UK gas and electricity bill of £1,300 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 16,500 kWh and the average annual electricity consumption is 3,300 kWh. Usage levels are expected to increase by 20% due to severe cold weather.