A new report has indicated that some of Britain’s poorest regions are among those hardest hit by the rising cost of gas and electricity.
According to research carried out by consumer campaigning organisation Which?, the average annual UK energy bill stands at £1,325 – but in north-west England, where the rate unemployment is the second-highest in Britain, the average bill costs £1,373.
Consumers in Merseyside and North Wales were found to be paying some of the highest energy bills in the country, while utilities were cheapest in northern Scotland and the East Midlands. Energy bills averaged £1,333 per year in the West Midlands, as opposed to £1,293 in London.
“People have told us that rising energy bills are their biggest financial worry, and this research indicates that regional variations in prices could be adding strain to some of the hardest hit by the recession,” said Which? Home editor Natalie Hitchins. “This underlines just how important it is to regularly check energy prices.”
Last week, Saga director-general Ros Altmann told the Scotsman that many pensioners living north of the border were falling into relative poverty partly as a result of rising heating costs.