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Rising energy bills are biggest worry to householders

Energy efficiency news – by GreenWise staff
16th October 2012
Consumers view rising energy bills as the 'biggest threat’ to household finances over the coming year, according to a YouGov survey.
Energy firms have already begun increasing their prices for the winter and the YouGov Household Economic Activity Tracker (HEAT) shows that UK consumers are more worried about energy price hikes over the coming year than they are about unemployment, inflation and taxes.

"The UK’s consumers are aware that Britain’s major energy suppliers are all expected to raise prices over the next few months, and the results of our survey clearly indicate they are very concerned about the impact that change will have on their household’s finances," Joe Twyman, YouGov director of Political and Social Research, commented. "The degree to which consumers are worried about energy prices compared to things like unemployment is particularly interesting and is a reflection of the fact that the rise in energy prices this winter in something that is going to affect everyone."

Energy price increases
Scottish Power is the latest of the 'Big Six’ energy firms to increase its energy prices, raising them today by 8.9 per cent. It follows SSE, which this week introduced a 9 per cent increase. British Gas and Npower have also announced big price increases.

The HEAT findings show that on the scale of one to 10 – where one means major benefit, and 10 means major threat – consumers gave rising energy prices an overall rating of 7.8, above unemployment, which was rated 7.4, and rising inflation, which was rated 6.9.

Green Deal
The Government’s Green Deal aims to protect householders against rising energy prices. The energy efficiency programme launched on October 1 and will enable householders and businesses to invest in energy efficiency measures at no upfront cost. However, the Green Deal finance plans that underpin the scheme will not be available until early 2013 and there concerns the scheme is not getting buy-in from the big high-street brands and that consumers take-up will be low.

Business leaders are also worried the Chancellor George Osborne’s support for a 'dash for gas’ risks leaving consumers and businesses dangerously exposed to further sharp price rises on global markets. 

YouGov’s HEAT is based on interviews conducted on a daily basis throughout the month. Over 77,000 interviews are conducted a year.

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Rising energy bills are biggest worry to householders
Scottish Power is the latest Big Six energy firm to increase its energy prices
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