According to a recent survey conducted by an independent energy switching services, the past few weeks of freezing temperatures have raised concerns with many UK residents about the higher cost of their energy bills.
Approximately 65%, or two thirds of consumers surveyed said that the recent stretch of cold weather has caused them to think more about their energy bills. 38% of these people admitted that they had concerns about being able to pay this month’s energy bill. Some of them revealed that they had had to dip into savings to cover their higher energy costs while others balanced their budgets by cutting spending in other areas such as cancelling vacations or gym memberships. More than half of the UK residents surveyed said that they were trying to cut back on heating bills by wearing more clothing. Approximately one-third of these consumers admitted that they had either switched to another energy provider in an attempt to save money, or had called to ensure that they were paying the best rate possible.
According to Which? editor Martyn Hocking, cold temperatures give people no choice but to turn up the heating, so people are inevitably going to be worried about their energy bills. Hocking says that it is worthwhile for people to log on to which.co.uk/switch to check energy rates and see if they are getting the best deal, or if they can save money by switching. It is fast and easy to switch energy providers, and doing so can potentially amount to hundreds of pounds in savings.
People who find that they are already on the best possible tariff can take steps to cut energy bills even further. Changing to an online account, paying the bills by direct debit or paying on a monthly basis are other ways to save money.
With no immediate end in sight to the cold snap, Which? investigated the most popular actions that consumers took to keep warm during cold temperatures and found the top five methods:
84% Wear extra clothing
73% Drink warm beverages
40% Eat hot, filling meals
38% Block draughty spaces under doors and windows
37% Remain in bed.
* Three people even confessed to keeping warm by making love.
Which? wants fair tariffs and energy bills that are easier for consumers to understand.