43% fear not being able to pay next fuel bill

Almost half of people in the UK are worried they won't be able to pay their energy bills, according to new research by Citizens Advice.

Out today (January 16) the report marks the launch, this week, of the Big Energy Week which will see advisers across country help people spend less on heating and powering their home.

According to Citizens Advice last November eight times as many people came to it for online advice on cutting their fuel bills compared to the previous November.

The Big Energy Week survey also found:

·having the heating on less topped the list of what people are doing to cut energy bills (53%).

·one in three people don’t know that energy companies are offering help to insulate their home, rising to 46% in London.

·71% of people who said their energy bills would put a strain on their finances this year also said they were worried they won’t be able to pay their next fuel bill.

Energy secretary, Chris Huhne, said: “We know a lot of households are struggling to cope with rising energy costs.

“Many people could cut their gas and electricity bills by moving to a better deal with their existing supplier, switching to another supplier altogether, or by taking up home insulation offers.

“But we need to make sure consumers are aware of this and make it easier for them to take action to save money.

“That is why I am backing Big Energy Week. We want to get the advice and information out to as many consumers across the country as possible.”

Citizens Advice chief executive, Gillian Guy, said: “Hikes in prices have put extra pressure on people’s budgets at a time when money is already tight.

“We’re worried that some people are struggling unnecessarily because they’re not on the best deal; live in homes that haemorrhage heat or are not getting all of the financial help available to them.”

Luke Walsh

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