Survey Discovers Heating Bills Concern Four Fifths of UK Population

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6th September 2013 11:33 - Utilities

A recent BBC Radio 5 Live survey, conducted by ComRes, suggests that more than a third (38%) of people in the UK are concerned about paying for their heating bills this winter. Of respondents, a quarter (25%) reported that they had put up with “unacceptably cold” homes in the past year, while two thirds (63%) of the 1,035 adults surveyed said they had cut their energy use because of rising costs.

Almost three quarters believe that the UK’s energy costs are unreasonable and seven tenths (69%) said the firms should be nationalised.

The majority (84%) of respondents said they would welcome solar panels in their area, while two thirds (67%) said they would support more coal, oil and gas stations being built in the UK if it brought down energy prices.

Overall, a two fifths (38%) said they were concerned about how they will pay for their heating bills this winter, yet this figure was even higher in the North West, West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside, and Northern Ireland.

Jean Clements, from Denton, Greater Manchester, said:

"Pre-paid meters are about 7% dearer but the benefit is you are not going to get any scary quarterly bill or a bounced direct debit… The government needs to be able to work a bit more with Ofgem to regulate the prices and the profits the energy suppliers are making."

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint told BBC Radio 5 live:

“It is a disgrace that this government has cut help for people in fuel poverty at the same time as giving millionaires a tax cut.”

Yet the Department of Energy and Climate Change added it was determined to tackle what it called the “scourge” of fuel poverty. A spokesperson said:

“Two million households received cuts to their bills last winter under the Warm Home Discount and the budget will continue to increase each year, up to £320m for 2015-16." 

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