More than one in 10 households are living in fuel poverty in the UK

Nathan Kay 27 June 2018 NEWS

More than 2.5 million families struggled to pay their energy bills in 2016.

The UK government has revealed that more than 1 in 10 British households are living in fuel poverty.

More than 2.5 million families were unable to pay their heating bills without falling below the poverty line in 2016. The figures demonstrate an increase of 69,000 families struggling with the cost of energy bills, compared to 2015.

The report found that single-parent households struggled the most, with more than 26.4% reaching to pay their bills. The figures also show that 15% of couples with children, 10% of single people aged below 60, and 9% of couples over 60 also struggled to pay their energy bills.

The startling result of the study found that the number of those struggling with fuel poverty between 2009 and 2012 had been steadily declining, however it has increased by 9% since the Conservatives came into power.

The study found that the gap between what families living in fuel poverty could afford and what they were charged was a staggering £326 per year.

Earlier this year, the National Audit Office (NAO) found that consumers will pay an extra £1.5 billion in energy bills over the next 15 years due to a change in government policy.

The NAO report stated that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy bungled a 2017 policy change which altered the rules on capacity caps.

The scheme uses a type of Contracts for Difference to boost investment in low-carbon energy. The deals use a fixed price system to pay suppliers for the energy they generate but could leave consumers out-of-pocket if the market drops below that amount.

The NAO stated that it could find no evidence that the department properly assessed the risk to consumers when pushing forward with its policy change.

The news follows an increase in energy costs right across the UK. Last month, we revealed how the “Big Six” energy suppliers hiked bills by an average of 5.3% across the UK.

Energy suppliers have laid the blame on government policy for higher bills, especially smart meters and emissions targets.

Household bills keep on rising, with customers across the UK feeling the squeeze. In addition to shopping around for a better energy deal, you can also cut your usage. Here are 10 ways to reduce your energy bill each month. (Not only will you save a load of money, you’ll be doing your bit for the planet too!)

Compare the UK’s best energy deals, and find out more about The Energy Deal with our useful guide.

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