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Britain’s coldest & poorest hit hardest in cruel energy price postcode lottery

17-06-2015 Posted by:Matt Ridout



   ~ 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, 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 second 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 (full table at the end of release).


While the figures reveal a discrepancy between energy prices being paid across the country, all is not lost. 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


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 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.


Customers can call free of charge on 0800 074 0745 or log onto They can also send their bills with contact details to energyhelpline, The Cart Wagon Lodge, Friday Street Farm, East Sutton, Kent, ME17 3DD and an adviser will call back. 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.


Energy Price Post Code Lottery – June 2015


   Region Name Region of Britain Default Gas Supplier Typical Annual Gas Bill Default Electricity Supplier Typical Annual Electricity Bill Typical Annual Gas & Elec Bill
1 Manweb Merseyside & N Wales British Gas £       706 ScottishPower £       616 £   1,321
2 Scottish Hydro N Scotland British Gas £       707 SSE £       599 £   1,307
3 Midlands W Midlands British Gas £       714 npower £       580 £   1,295
4 Yorkshire Yorkshire British Gas £       716 npower £       579 £   1,295
5 Swalec Central & S Wales British Gas £       706 SSE £       584 £   1,290
6 Seeboard SE England British Gas £       729 EDF £       554 £   1,283
7 London London British Gas £       734 EDF £       547 £   1,282
8 Southern Southern England British Gas £       724 SSE £       549 £   1,274
9 Norweb NW England British Gas £       704 e.on £       568 £   1,273
10 Northern NE England British Gas £       690 npower £       581 £   1,272
11 Sweb SW England British Gas £       690 EDF £       580 £   1,270
12 Scottish Power Central & S Scotland British Gas £       707 ScottishPower £       562 £   1,269
13 Eastern Eastern England British Gas £       716 e.on £       540 £   1,256
14 East Midlands East Midlands British Gas £       699 e.on £       539 £   1,238
Average   £       710   £       570 £   1,280


  1. Source:, June 2015
  2. All calculations are for an average usage home taking gas and electricity andpaying by receipt of bill on default standard products. Average usage as defined by OFGEM 13,500 kWh pa of gas and 3,200 kWh pa of electricity


Poorest Areas in Great Britain by Average Weekly Pay (Source: Office for National Statistics, 2014)


No. Area Average Gross Weekly Pay Energy Region
1 Porthmadog & Ffestiniog £310.8 Merseyside & N Wales
2 Newton Stewart & Wigtown £319.7 Southern Scotland
3 Ullapool & Gairloch £319.9 Northern Scotland
4 Pembroke & Tenby £326.5 South Wales
5 Campbeltown £342.8 Northern Scotland
6 Dunoon & Bute £348.2 Northern Scotland
7 Penzance & Isles of Scilly £352.4 South West England
8 Dolgellau & Barmouth £355.7 Merseyside & N Wales
9 Lochgilphead £357.3 Northern Scotland
10 Pwllheli £358.2 Merseyside & N Wales



Britain’s Cheapest Current Energy Tariffs

Supplier Tariff Average Cost Saving vs Typical Bill~ Fix or Discounted Variable Fix Period Cancellation Penalties
1 GB Energy Supply Premium Energy Saver £870 £422 Discounted Variable n/a None
2= first:utility iSave Fixed July 2016 £913 £379 Fix July 31, 2016 £30 per fuel if you switch away before end of fix
2= Flow Energy Connect £913 £379 Fix March 31, 2016 None
4 GnERGY Fixed June 2016 v1 £915 £377 Fix June 30, 2016 £25 per fuel  if you switch away before end of fix
5 extraenergy Fresh Fixed Price Sept 2016 v2 £925 £367 Fix Sept 30, 2016 £25 per fuel  if you switch away before end of fix


~ Saving calculated against an average bill £1,292 as calculated by Ofgem in their last published Supply market Indicator, April 2015
  1. Source:, 16/06/15
  2. All calculations are for an average usage dual fuel household paying by monthly direct debit. Average usage as defined by OFGEM is 13,500 kWh pa of gas and 3,200 kWh pa of electricity



For more information or an interview, please contact Rebecca Pocock or Ruvina Uppal on 0207 802 26 26 or


* 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 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).


About Energy Helpline

energyhelpline is one of the UK’s largest energy price comparison and switching services. Founded in 2003, it helps hundreds of thousands of people to switch every year and thousands of businesses too. So far it has helped UK consumers save over £200 million on energy bills.

It is available online at, or over the phone on 0800 074 0745. Its call centre is the largest in energy switching and is open Mon-Fri 9am-8pm and 9am-5pm at weekends.


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