Brits turn green as household bills continue to rise

27 June 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
The rising cost of living could end up benefiting the planet, new research from Tescocompare.com has revealed.

As annual fuel bills exceed £1,000, the study estimates that as many as 22 million Brits could become more environmentally friendly in an attempt to cut costs, a 50 per cent rise on current 'green' activity.

As it stands, the research discovered that 80 per cent of Brits already pride themselves on being above average when it comes to being environmentally friendly. However, the study also showed that almost half of Brits are wasting the chance to save money and the environment by washing clothes at the reduced temperature of 30 degrees as well as various other everyday opportunities.

Paul Baxter at Tescocompare.com said: "Going green takes a little bit of effort but can reap huge rewards in the long and short term. The cost of living and household bills are creeping up and up, but there are a lot of things that cost next to nothing, which we can all do on a day-to-day basis to reduce our carbon footprint and energy bills. Simply turning gadgets off at the mains when you're not using them is a sure-fire way to save the planet and the pound in your pocket."

However, going green may not be enough to keep consumers' finances afloat according to new figures from Combined Insurance's Cost of Living Tracker. The new study shows that Brits are being hit by an average 26 per cent hike in monthly outgoings.

Amongst the culprits for stretching consumers' budgets are mortgage repayments and rent, which according to the research have seen a monthly increase of around one third. Energy bills are another major culprit with an average increase of more than 50 per cent. But, instead of cutting back on expendables, the study found that Brits are cutting back on essentials such as insurance.

Nigel Brittle, director at Combined Insurance, commented: "The many cost of living hikes are taking their toll on the monthly budget and many Brits are living on the edge with their finances. As Britons prepare to make cutbacks on their spending, which may include insurance commitments, Combined Insurance urges the public not to cancel insurance designed to protect incomes in hard times or health."

One area that has caused concern is the rising cost of grocery bills, but reports today suggest that supermarkets are launching more special offers in attempts to combat this. Asda has launched an offer over the next week pricing its ten top sellers at just 50p, including sausages, eggs and cherry tomatoes.

The move to offer more affordable food, which is also being adopted by Sainsbury's and Tesco, could be seen as a reaction to recent news that discount stores Lidl and Aldi are doing well in times of financial crisis.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd