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CAB - Prospect of fuel bill hike will terrify households

Citizens Advice responds to the recent news that fuel bills could go up because of gas shortages on the back of the unusually cold weather.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at national charity Citizens Advice said:

“The prospect of further fuel bill hikes will terrify households. Two thirds of the nation wished for a warmer winter this year to help them get on top of their energy bills yet the abnormally cold weather will have thrown these budgets into chaos leaving people with difficult choices to make between heating or eating.”

In 2012, Citizens Advice dealt with over 94,500 problems with fuel debt.

Anyone struggling to pay their energy bills can get help from their local CAB or go online at www.adviceguide.org.uk

What people are doing to save money on their energy bills:

  • Over half don’t have the heating on as much in order to save energy; rising to 57% among women and six in ten of 45-54 year olds.
  • More than a third are using less electricity – rising to four in ten people in Scotland.
  • Four in ten over 65s have insulated their home, compared to just 23% of 25-34 year olds.
  • Just a quarter of people have checked with their supplier to see if they are on the best deal, with 55-64 year olds proving more proactive as one third has tried to get a better deal from their supplier.
  • One in five 55-64 year olds don’t use all of the rooms in their home.
  • Just 15% of people had changed to another energy supplier – rising to one in five of 25-34 year olds.
  • 56% of people in Wales don’t have the heating on as much.
  • 41% in the North East have insulated their homes, more than any other region.
  • 30% of people in Scotland have checked with their supplier to see if they are on the best deal.
  • One in five in the East of England don’t use some of the rooms in their home.
  • 19% of people in London have changed to another energy supplier and a further one in five changed to a cheaper way to pay.

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more information in England and Wales see www.citizensadvice.org.uk
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information see www.adviceguide.org.uk  
  3. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.9 million problems from April 2011 to March 2012. For full 2011/2012 service statistics see: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/press_statistics
  4. Out of 22 national charities, the Citizens Advice service is ranked by the general public as being the most helpful, approachable, professional, informative, effective / cost effective, reputable and accountable (nfpSynergy’s Brand Attributes survey, May 2010).
  5. Most Citizens Advice service staff are trained volunteers, working at around 3,500 service outlets across England and Wales.


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