Asda Money t/a Asda Financial Services Limited

August 03, 2012 01:00 ET

Brits Sacrifice Food to Pay for Fuel as Energy Bills Rocket

The sky high cost of Britain's energy bills is having a dire effect on the nation's spending habits as over a fifth of households are sacrificing food for fuel

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Aug. 3, 2012) - The average annual gas and electricity bill is a staggering £1,322** and rising. As households struggle to stump up the finances to cover energy costs, millions are being forced to make major cut-backs.

Asda Money research* reveals that UK households have gone to drastic lengths to pay energy bills, including going without food.

The research found that almost half (44%) of households are being forced to cut down on their energy usage as costs increase. Worryingly 21% of households have favoured fuel over food, cutting back on essentials to cover the cost of household energy bills.

Parents, vulnerable people and those on low incomes are suffering the most from high-energy costs and could be driven into fuel poverty as a result.

Over half of parents (52%) are sacrificing buying new clothes for themselves and their children in order to pay for energy bills. A further 45% of mums and dads are cutting back on luxuries such as eating out and a fifth (18%) have gone as far as to cancel their Sky subscriptions.

Despite taking extreme measures to reduce costs, a massive 79% of households have not switched their Gas and Electricity supplier to save money. Some 58% of those who haven't taken advantage of cheaper deals with other providers don't think they will save money by switching.

The gloomy attitude towards energy bills is widespread as a staggering 98% of people think that gas and electricity bills are a rip-off.

In order to make energy bills manageable, 82% of the nation believes that prices should be cut by an average of £39 a month. A further 20% would like to see bills fall by £50 a month to make them more affordable.

Energy bills have been steadily rising for the last few years, eating away at household budgets that are not expanding at the same rate.

19.5 million squeezed Brits are on expensive energy tariffs and could switch providers to find a better deal.

Asda Money offers a new service; the Energy Compare and Save which could help consumers save money today.

Notes to editors

*Research of 1302 people conducted for Asda Pulse of the Nation from 25th April to 2nd May 2012.

**Based on average dual fuel tariff costing £1,345 per year in Oct 2011 (source: OFGEM) and adjustment of £23 for recent price drops

About Asda Energy Compare & Save

  • Customers can save up to £346* per year
  • All UK suppliers are compared
  • 94% of customers can save**
  • Switching could take as little as 7 minutes***

*At least 10% of customers who used energyhelpline (providers of Asda Energy Compare & Save service) to switch their gas and electricity between 01/01/2011 - 01/03/2012 saved £346 a year or more.

**Based on over 100,000 people comparing their energy with energyhelpline between 29/03/2012 - 11/05/2012.

***At least 10% of customers who used energyhelpline (providers of Asda Energy Compare & Save service) to switch their gas and electricity between 01/08/2011 - 23/02/2012 took 7 minutes or less to complete the switch application.

Asda Energy Compare & Save is provided by energyhelpline. energyhelpline is a free and impartial independent price comparison service. Fully accredited by Consumer Focus, compare all suppliers in the UK to help you find the cheapest energy deal.

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