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Sunday, June 11, 2023

UK households cut energy use as cost soars

No fewer than half of British households have cut back on their use of energy in response to cost of living concerns, according to new data.

UK energy
Some households in the UK have cut back on their use of energy

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said its latest research also showed an increase in people curbing spending on food and reducing non-essential travel in order to help their finances.

In the survey covering May 25 to June 5, 2022, 52 per cent of people said they are using less fuel such as gas and electricity at home following major cost increases.

Energy bills soared by 54 per cent for the average household on a standard variable energy tariff at the beginning of April when the price cap on bills was changed.

The ONS also said an increase in the number of people spending less on food shopping and essentials, which jumped to 41 per cent of households from 36 per cent a fortnight ago.

Its survey found that the proportion of those buying fewer items in their food shops increased again, rising to 46 per cent from 44 per cent in the previous period.

The worrying figures come after Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation increased to 9 per cent in April and is expected to rise further this year.

Meanwhile, people have also adapted their travel plans to deal with rising costs.

Around 40 per cent of those polled said they have cut back on non-essential travel in vehicles due to the cost-of-living crisis.

No fewer than three quarters of households said they witnessed an increase in the price of fuel over the period.

It comes a day after the average cost of filling a typical family car with petrol exceeded €100 ($124.5).

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