A new survey has indicated that UK households are making a sustained effort to reduce the amount of energy they use, in response to the rising cost of gas and electricity.
Data published by the Office for National Statistics revealed that average household consumption of utilities declined by 11.3 per cent between 2001 and 2011, although bills surged by 23.5 per cent. The revelation has prompted renewed concern about the impact of high prices.
“In the last six years the average household energy bill has rocketed from £660 to £1,252 a year – a £592 or 90 per cent increase,” said uSwitch.com consumer policy director Ann Robinson. “This is an astonishing hike that has put households under a lot of pressure. As a result, consumers have been trying to cut back or ration their energy use.”
Ms Robinson added that there appears to be little hope of a sustained decline in gas and electricity prices, advising consumers that increased energy efficiency is likely to be the most effective way of cushioning the blow of increasing costs.
Earlier this week, EDF Energy announced it would provide elderly customers with refunds of the difference between their actual bills and the firm’s cheapest tariff.