Firms charge '63% more for heating'
Published on 28 November 2012 11:30 AM
The average cost of heating a home in the UK is now 63% more expensive than just five years ago, a price comparison website has revealed.
Energy companies have increased the prices they charge by an average £227 per household, according to a report.
Five years ago a typical household forked out around £360 a year for heating but once this winter sets in they will be paying an average of £587, according to uSwitch.
The overall energy bill for an average UK home is now £515 more expensive, rocketing to £1,334 a year.
87% of homes expected to have to ration heat this winter
Three-quarters of households were forced to turn off their heating at some point last winter because they could not afford the high costs of keeping their homes warm, the website pointed out.
Even more people are struggling this year, with uSwitch predicting around nine in 10 homes (87%) will be forced to ration heat this winter.
The website is encouraging people to shop around for energy suppliers because it says the difference between the most expensive and the least expensive is around £300 a year.
The Energy Saving Trust and uSwitch have produced a list of where prices have been raised for people over the past five years.
In terms of heating, prices averaged £360 per household five years ago. But these costs now stand at £587, up £227.
Hot water cost £106 a year but is now being charged at an average £173, an increase of £67.
For those using consumer electronics, £90 would have been the cost five years ago. This has now been raised £57 to average £147 per home.
Lighting, which cost £66 back in 2007, would now set the typical home back £107, up £41.
Age UK's Spread the Warmth campaign
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General at Age UK said: 'Soaring energy prices mean many older people will be very anxious about their heating bills, making it harder for them to stay warm and well this winter. To help prevent cold-related illness, it is vital older people try to keep their homes warm - at 21°C - but we know price rises are forcing many to choose between heating and eating.
'We would urge any older people who are finding it difficult to pay their heating bills or struggling to stay warm to contact their local Age UK for advice or call Age UK's helpline on 0800 169 65 65.'
As part of our Spread the Warmth campaign, Age UK is supplying free information guides including thermometers to help older people to keep their homes at the right temperature. For more information go to www.ageuk.org.uk/spreadthewarmth
Copyright Press Association 2012