When picking a place to live, the age old advice is to think ‘location, location, location’. This is also true when it comes to energy bills. Not only do energy prices fluctuate between tariffs and suppliers, they also change by region.
The main reason cited for these variations is the varying transportation cost of getting the energy from the power station or the gas rig to the home. Generally, in Britain prices rise in rural and Western regions as this is where transportation costs tend to be highest.
In Britain some of the poorest areas in the UK are rural and in the West of the country and this creates an unfortunate double whammy. Merseyside and North Wales have the highest average default bills at £1,197, and one of the lowest average incomes. These areas have the UK’s least affordable energy at 7.7% of average income. The relatively rural North East of England, along with Central and South Wales, come joint 2nd with low income per head and above average bills.
On the flip side, wealthy London and the South East of England have the most affordable energy.
The UK’s Least Affordable Places for Household Energy Bills
|Rank (1st = Least Affordable)||Geographic Region||Typical Annual Gas & Elec Bill||Average income per head (£)*||% of average income||Cheapest Annual Gas & Elec Bill||Possible Switch Saving|
|1||Merseyside & N Wales||£ 1,197||£ 15,618||7.7%||£ 845||£ 352|
|2=||Central & S Wales||£ 1,163||£ 15,302||7.6%||£ 833||£ 330|
|2=||NE England||£ 1,153||£ 15,189||7.6%||£ 798||£ 355|
|4||Yorkshire||£ 1,147||£ 15,498||7.4%||£ 781||£ 366|
|5||NW England||£ 1,150||£ 15,776||7.3%||£ 812||£ 338|
|6||W Midlands||£ 1,129||£ 15,611||7.2%||£ 816||£ 313|
|7=||N Scotland||£ 1,180||£ 17,095||6.9%||£ 849||£ 331|
|7=||East Midlands||£ 1,111||£ 16,217||6.9%||£ 742||£ 369|
|9||Central & S Scotland||£ 1,139||£ 17,095||6.7%||£ 807||£ 332|
|10||SW England||£ 1,159||£ 18,144||6.4%||£ 858||£ 301|
|11||Eastern England||£ 1,127||£ 18,897||6.0%||£ 795||£ 332|
|12=||Southern England||£ 1,147||£ 20,434||5.6%||£ 827||£ 320|
|12=||SE England||£ 1,147||£ 20,434||5.6%||£ 838||£ 309|
|14||London||£ 1,137||£ 23,607||4.8%||£ 765||£ 372|
|Average||£ 1,149||£17,965||6.4%||£ 812||£ 337|
You can find your cheapest energy supplier at www.energyhelpline.com
Mark Todd, co-founder market price comparison site, energyhelpline commented:
“Staying warm in the winter shouldn’t be a luxury but in many less well-off UK towns and cities it is. While the official fuel poverty stats have been abolished and at the same time food bank use has spiraled we can reveal millions families continue to live in fuel poverty and the hotspots for this are the North of England and Wales.
“But it doesn’t have to be this way. If an energy customer switches from their default option to their cheapest deal the average saving is £337 a year, enough to take most out of fuel poverty.”
Compare the whole UK energy market at www.energyhelpline.com or on 0800 074 0745
*from Office for National Statistics – latest Regional Gross Disposable Household Income, 2014
|All data correct as of 16 Nov 2016|
|Notes: Typical bills are for default standard tariffs for customers paying by quarterly cash and cheque without prompt payment discounts.|
|Average usage 12,500 kWh pa of gas and 3,100 kWh pa of electricity. Cheapest tariffs are monthly direct debit.|