86 per cent of Brits could not cope with another energy price hike

14 July 2008 / by Rachel Mason
Forty per cent of people are already struggling to pay their energy bills and the vast majority said they would not be able to cope with any further price hikes.

According to Moneysupermarket.com, 86 per cent of Brits say they cannot afford to fork out any more cash for their gas and electricity bills.

There has been speculation brewing that energy bills, which have already seen significant hikes in the past few months, are due to rise even further – as much as 40 per cent for many families.

And a recent poll from Moneysueprmakret.com has revealed that two in five are already struggling to pay their fuel bills and almost half are only just covering theirs.

Only one in seven said they would be able to afford their energy bills if they were to go up by up to 40 per cent.

"With price rises on the horizon it is even more important to get on the best value tariff for their area and usage," explains Paul Schofield, head of utilities at moneysupermarket.com.

"At a time when people are tightening their belts the prospect of energy price hikes is a daunting one - especially as only one in seven of us could afford more expensive bills.

"Price hikes of 40 per cent will hit those languishing on standard tariffs harder than anyone else - meaning their bills could exceed £1,400 a year. However, these customers have the option to protect themselves against any increases by "fixing" their bills now until the end of 2009."

Mr Schofield says that there is only a 2p a year difference between standard and fixed tariffs so customers should have "no excuse" for not protecting themselves against future increases.

He urges people to shop around for the best energy deal they can find, telling consumers, "not to waste their hard-earned cash paying over the odds for energy bills - especially as they are set to rise."

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