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Consumers aren’t worried about winter energy bills

Consumers aren’t worried about winter energy bills

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 13/11/2015
First Published: 12/11/2015

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Much of the country is enjoying unseasonably mild temperatures at the moment, but we all know it can't last forever. Despite this, it seems that the majority of consumers are unconcerned by thoughts of their winter energy bills, but the question is, should you be?

Affordability concerns at record low levels…

The latest Public Attitudes Tracker from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has revealed that the number of people who are worried about paying their energy bills this winter has dropped to the lowest level since the survey began, with just 24% saying that they were "very" or "fairly" worried about covering the cost. This is relatively unchanged from June's survey but is a significant improvement from this time last year, when 34% said that they were worried.

This could be due to the fact many providers have reduced their energy tariffs in the last 12 months, or it could be that households feel that their budgets are less pressed than a year ago, perhaps because low inflation has reduced cost of living pressures. Either way, it's certainly positive news for householders, as it suggests that there may be less of a "heat or eat" crisis than has been seen in recent years.

… but the future may not be that bright

Despite most people feeling confident about the state of their energy spend at the moment, the survey went on to reveal that it may not stay that way for long: 68% of respondents reported feeling concerned about energy price rises in the future, which although a welcome drop from the 79% who said the same in March, is still a worrying figure.

This is why it's so important to stay on top of your energy use at all times. Being more energy efficient is a great place to start – currently just 23% of respondents claimed that they give a lot of thought to saving energy at home while 48% give it a fair amount of thought, which suggests that many people could benefit from being a bit more energy-aware.

This in itself could reduce your bills as you'll be using less energy throughout your home – even simple things like switching lights and appliances off when not in use, or draught-proofing your home to keep out the winter chill, can make all the difference – but switching energy supplier could be an even better move.

Could you benefit from switching?

The survey showed that just 6% of respondents had firm plans to switch their supplier in the next year and 59% said that they definitely wouldn't be switching, but if there's a chance of getting a better deal, why wouldn't you want to switch?

Of course, if you're already on the best tariff available then there's nothing more for you to do, but if you think you could be paying less – or if you're coming to the end of a fixed deal – it's time to start comparing the options. Use our search tool to find the best energy tariffs for your area, and hopefully you'll be even less concerned about covering your winter bills.

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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