Gas and electricity Updated:
Energy prices are currently at some of the highest levels seen in the UK's history, but it seems that it is those living in the coldest and poorest areas who are bearing the brunt of the expenses, thanks to a "cruel" postcode lottery.
According to new research by energyhelpline.com, millions of households are left with higher energy bills just because of where they live. For example, households in North Wales and Merseyside are typically paying around £1,321 a year in energy bills – 7% more than those living in the cheapest region of East Anglia (£1,238). The second-highest bills are found in Northern Scotland, which has the dubious title as the coldest region in the UK.
What is particularly shocking about these price disparities is the fact that people living in parts of North Wales, Merseyside and Northern Scotland have the lowest earnings in Britain. In fact, these regions consist of seven of the 10 poorest areas in the country. This means that energy consumers in these regions are not only more likely to be hit with larger energy bills, but they are also more likely to find themselves in a 'heat or eat' situation.
Indeed, additional research found that a quarter of British families have had to cut back on heating their home to save money. Clearly, something needs to be done to right the imbalance.
Commenting on the results, Mark Todd of energyhelpline.com said: "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."
Earlier this year, the Big Six may have reduced the cost of energy for variable rate tariffs, but these cuts don't go nearly far enough. If you live in one of these pricy areas, or you simply think you are paying too much for your energy, you will have to take matters into your own hands and switch suppliers.
Estimates suggest that savings of up to £377 a year could be possible for consumers living in North Wales and Merseyside – that's a 29% decrease! So what are you waiting for? If you don't want to be a victim of the energy postcode lottery any more, it's time to start searching the market for a new supplier. Who knows, you could save hundreds of pounds a year!
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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