Household energy bills surge 55% in 10 years5th March 2014
Despite having cut their usage, households are having to pay as much as 55 per cent more for their energy bills than they were a decade ago.
According to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), spending amounted to £69 per month for an average family in 2002, whereas in 2012 that figure had nearly doubled to £106. These figures account for inflation, as they are both expressed in 2012 money.
It transpired the amount of energy each household used had declined by 17 per cent in the same time frame.
The majority of the price hikes occurred between 2004 and 2009, but since then there has been little change in the amount a household spent on such bills. It is thought one reason for this was the milder winter temperatures experienced since 2009.
There are a number of reasons as to why consumption has dropped in recent years. These range from people deliberately cutting back in a bid to lower their outgoings, an increase in public awareness about being environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient measures being undertaken in homes, such as loft and wall insulation.
"However, energy prices have risen faster than average household consumption has fallen, resulting in rising average bills," the ONS said.
Households spent 5.1 per cent of their disposable income on energy in 2012, which marks a rise from 2002's figure of 3.3 per cent. As might be expected, the majority of this rise occurred between 2004 and 2009.
Homes in Northern Ireland spent considerably more on their bills than those in other parts of the UK between 2010 and 2012, with an average of £154 every month. Scottish households were paying £112, Welsh £105 and English £103.
The ONS attributed this discrepancy to the reliance on oil-fired central heating in Northern Ireland, which can be more expensive.
Energy expert at uSwitch Tom Lyon said these figures highlighted how "energy is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many consumers".
He added that 83 per cent of participants surveyed by the price comparison site expected energy costs to rise again this year.
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Posted by The EnerGenie