Cost of energy ‘eating into household budgets’

11th December 2013
Families are struggling to contend with rising energy bills

The rising cost of gas and electricity for UK homeowners has played a significant part in making housing the most expensive aspect of the family budget, new figures have revealed. 

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), housing – which includes rent, fuel, electricity and maintenance – overtook transport as the biggest part of household spending in the last year. 

Analysts noted that families spend an average of £68 each week on housing. This figure is thought to have increased thanks to particularly cold winters in 2011 and 2012, which encouraged families to turn up their heating. A rise in the proportion of individuals who rent their home was also a contributing factor. 

The findings – coupled with recent price hikes from the big six energy firms – could encourage households to take measures in a bid to reduce their energy use. 

One way to do so is to ensure homes are well insulated to stop heat escaping during those colder months. DIY draft-proofing windows, doors and blocking cracks is a sure-fire way to keep properties warm and reduce the impact of rising bills on family budgets. 

Findings from the ONS report revealed the cost of transport had seen the most significant reduction over the last 12 months. Once inflation was taken into account, this aspect of spending dropped from £87 per week in 2001 to £64 last year, in spite of a rise in the cost of petrol. 

In total, the data revealed that the average UK household spends £489 each week. When adjusted for inflation, spending has fallen since 2006, when the figure reached £526 every seven days. 

ONS analysts said the fall was consistent with trends seen in the economy during this period. Economic output – as measured by gross domestic product – dropped by 7.2 per cent between 2008 and 2009. 

Are you looking for ways to use less electricity in your home? Browse a selection of energy-saving products today. 

Posted by The EnerGenie

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