~ Merseyside & North Wales and Northern Scotland have 7 of the poorest 10 areas of UK and the highest typical energy prices~With energy bills still at some of the highest levels in UK history and the Big Six facing pressure from the new government to lower costs, energyhelpline.com reveals today that millions of households in the UK are paying over the odds just because of where they live in a cruel energy price postcode lottery.Less Well off & Coldest Regions Hit Hardest – North Wales and Merseyside most expensive followed by Northern Scotland secondenergyhelpline.com found that households in North Wales and Merseyside are typically paying £1,321 a year for their gas and electricity. That’s 7% more than the cheapest region, the East Midlands, at £1,238. The second highest bills are in Northern Scotland, the coldest area in Britain.
This is despite parts of the regions (North Wales and Merseyside and Northern Scotland) having some of the lowest earnings in Britain, with hundreds of thousands of people earning under £400 a week*. When it comes to energy the least well off often get hit the hardest. The regions have 7 of the poorest 10 areas in Britain. Within North Wales is Porthmadog & Ffestiniog, the area with the lowest average weekly wage per head in Britain at £310.80. North Wales has 3 of the poorest 10 areas of the UK. Northern Scotland has 4 of the poorest 10.
While the figures reveal a discrepancy between energy prices being paid across the country, all is not lost. energyhelpline.com found that savings of up to £377 a year are possible for households in North Wales & Merseyside who switch to a cheaper tariff – a whopping 29% potential reduction on their annual energy bill.
Given only tiny cuts were given by the Big Six earlier this year, switching suppliers is an important weapon in the fight to spend less on daily living costs.
“The poorest and coldest areas of Britain are being hit hardest in this cruel energy price postcode lottery. There is simply no justice when it comes to energy pricing.
If you live in North Wales, Merseyside or Northern Scotland and have never switched you’ll be paying the highest prices in Britain. Energy switching savings can be as high as £433 a year. It’s unlikely we’ll see another energy price cut this year so if you want to save on your energy bills switching is the best way,” said Mark Todd, director of whole-of-market price comparison site energyhelpline.com.
Fight for savings – take action to prevent shivering later this year
Latest figures from the government show over two million households spend more than 10 per cent of their income on keeping their homes properly heated**. In too many cases this leads to a heat or eat dilemma, with more than one in 10 households in England struggling to heat their homes, and millions still living in fuel poverty.
To combat sky-high prices we’ve become a nation of cutbacks, but at what cost to our health? A quarter of British families cut back on heating the home to save money, research from energyhelpline.com exposed***. Yet parents can economise by switching to a cheaper provider, which can allow them to put the savings back into heating their home to a warm, healthy temperature during the cold months.
Households in Yorkshire have the most to save by switching. They could gain back £435 a year, followed by the West Midlands at £433. No region loses out though, with the lowest minimum possible saving standing at £285 in North West England.
The study looked at price movements in 14 regions of the UK, examining what households typically pay for gas and electricity, and what they could save if they switched to the cheapest tariff available.
energyhelpline.com is running a Collective Switch with registration open until 28th June 2015 and the switching period running between 29th June and 20th July 2015. Its last Collective exclusively secured the cheapest gas & electricity tariff in the UK since 2010.
* According to ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2014
** According to the Department of Energy & Climate Change’s Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics Report, 2014
*** According to energyhelpline.com. Research was carried out by Opinion Matters between 18/03/2015 and 23/03/2015 with a sample of 1,006 UK parents with children aged 18 and under (including 300 single mothers).
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