Suffolk: Huge rise in heating homes shows importance of Surviving Winter campaign
THE cost of heating a home is now 63% higher than five years ago, according to latest figures.
And with five of Britain’s big six energy suppliers hiking their prices ahead of Christmas, consumers are being warned the sum could rocket even further.
The figures demonstrate the importance of this year’s Surviving Winter campaign, which has already raised more than �10,000 to help vulnerable people pay their fuel bills and stay warm over the coming months.
Figures released by independent price comparison and switching service uSwitch.com reveal the cost of heating a home has increased from �360 to �587 a year in the past five years.
Meanwhile the average household energy bill has reached �1,334 a year, with heating accounting for 44% of this.
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: “It now costs households a staggering 63% more a year to heat their home than it did five years ago.
“This increase has knocked consumers for six, leaving many fearful of how they will afford to keep warm during the winter months and leading to growing numbers rationing their energy use even during the harshest weather.
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“Recent price hikes from energy suppliers will add �753million onto energy bills and push 314,000 households into fuel poverty.
“Many households will feel that they have little choice but to turn their heating down or off, and by doing so risk gambling with their health.
“However, consumers can reduce the amount they spend on heating, without compromising their wellbeing or qualify of life. There are many low-cost or free insulation offers available that will make homes more energy efficient and there is currently over �300 difference between the cheapest and most expensive energy tariffs on the market.”
The Surviving Winter campaign is being led by The Suffolk Foundation, Age UK Suffolk and the East Anglian Daily Times - with support from the East of England Co-operative Society.
It is encouraging those who can afford to do so to donate their Winter Fuel Payment to help those more in need.
Last year the appeal raised �55,000 and helped 250 people and it is hoped that the total could be matched or even beaten this year.
Surviving Winter forms will be printed regularly in the EADT over the coming weeks and all the details will be available to help people make a contribution. Pledge forms will also be available in all Co-op stores throughout the winter.
You can call The Suffolk Foundation directly on 01473 602602 to pay by card or, alternatively, you can visit its website, www.suffolkfoundation.org.uk.