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“Postcode lottery” in energy prices

“Postcode lottery” in energy prices

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 10/02/2016
First Published: 10/02/2016

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

You may not realise it, but the price you pay for your gas and electricity fluctuates according to where abouts you live, and there are definite winners and losers. Some regions pay far more than others in the dreaded postcode lottery, and where might surprise you…

Research from energyhelpline.com has revealed that those living in Merseyside and North Wales suffer from the most unaffordable energy prices of the whole country, with lower-than-average incomes adding to the pain of high energy costs.

In fact, the figures show that energy bills account for 8.3% of typical incomes in that area, with North East England and Central & South Wales following close behind with 8.2% of income devoted to energy costs in these areas.

At the other end of the scale, regions in the south of England fare best and end up with the most affordable energy in the country, largely fuelled by the higher average income of these areas as well as lower energy costs.

London was found to have the most affordable energy costs of the UK, with typical bills accounting for 5.5% of an average salary. This was followed by Southern England and South East England (both at 6.2%) and Eastern England (6.6%).

"The statistics prove that there is a big problem and that there is a very unfair energy postcode lottery in operation," said Mark Todd, director at energyhelpline.com. "Where we most need low-cost energy in poorer and colder Northern regions instead we get the highest prices. This undoubtedly leads to more cold homes in these areas and more associated issues, such as ill health and excess winter deaths."

So what can you do if you think you're paying too much? There's only one thing for it – fight back! The figures discussed are based on the standard tariffs that apply to each region, so the best way to beat such high prices is by comparing tariffs and switching to a cheaper deal.

The figures show that the cheapest offers can be £300-£400 a year less than standard offers, which could make a massive difference to household finances. "Our message is loud and clear," concluded Mark. "Switch regularly. Don't be a victim of this unfair postcode lottery."

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