Cash strapped Brits have on average £271 in available balance but are set to face a winter fuel bill of around £290

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  • 16% of Brits will have an available balance of ZERO over the next six months
  • 28% of Brits will have less than £20 in their available balance at the end of each month in the first half of 2019 DESPITE a winter fuel bill of £290
  • The average Brit needs an extra £73.60 per month to cover living costs
  • 25% – 12.5 million – of us have been with the same energy supplier for the last 5 years
  • 34% of UK adults believe their current supplier is getting them the best deal, despite research showing there are potential savings of £417 to be made by switching

Last week saw the rise of the price cap pushing household bills up by around £118. Since then, Big Six suppliers have, one by one, announced their increased prices with British Gas and Scottish Power following Eon, EDF and Npower. This increase not only means that the initial savings promised by the price dap are defunct, but serves to leave many of the 15 million affected families across the country struggling pay for their energy. This nationally representative research, conducted by Labrador, unveils the financial state of a nation that is being hammered by increasing rises in utility bills amidst the depth of winter – an already expensive time for Brits.

Household Statistics for Available Balances

  • 28% of Brits will have less than £20 in their available balance in the first half of 2019
  • 16% of Brits will have nothing left over the next six months
  • 18% of Brits have debts valuing over £2000
  • Nearly a quarter of Brits (23%) have loans and credit cards debts of over £1000
  • 11% of Brits need an extra £100-500 a month to cover their expenditure

Average Debts and Available Balances

  • The average winter fuel bill is £288.40
  • The average Brit needs an extra £73.60 per month
  • The average debt value excluding a mortgage is £640

What does the price rises mean:

  • British Gas will increase its annual dual-fuel tariff by £119 a year to an average of £1,254 for its 3.5 million customers
  • Scottish Power’s price hike will bring its standard energy deal in line with Ofgem’s cap on annual energy bills at an average of £1,254 a year
  • E.On will increase the cost of 1.8m homes dual fuel energy bill by about £117 to £1,254
  • EDF Energy has hiked energy prices for 1.3 million gas and electricity customers by £118 meaning he average household on an SVT with EDF will now pay £1,254 per year
  • Npower’s increase will add £118 a year to the bills of its 1 million customers meaning energy will cost £1,254 per year for a household with typical use

Jane Lucy, founder of Labrador is of the opinion:

“The research we have conducted on household available balances clearly indicates the financial pressures that many Brits face on a day to day basis. It is deeply concerning that initiative such as the price cap that were designed to reduce costs have actually had the opposite impact.

Price caps will never be the way to solve the UK’s energy market as they undeniably reduce competition, promote lethargy and consequently, make consumers mistakenly believe that they are getting the best deal when this is not the case. At this point in time, four energy suppliers have stated that they will be increasing their prices by 10% to hit the peak of the price cap that is due to be raised in April. Ultimately, consumers cannot rely on the price cap to stop overcharging within the energy industry.

The UK energy arena has moved at an intentionally slow and cumbersome pace in relation to offering consumers a fair deal on their energy. With consumer distrust growing at a frantic pace, fuelled by confusing and inaccurate bills shrouded by an opaque mask by those supplying them, it is only a matter of time until the marketplace is forcibly jilted into a more balanced state. We are most definitely not there yet, however, the basic premise of delivering fair energy pricing with warmth and light as a fundamental human right already ensures profit lead service providers will need to readdress their strategies for the imminent period ahead.”