Energy bills could increase by one-third by 2020

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Homeowners could face a huge rise in gas and electricity bills in the years leading up to 2020 if their homes are not properly insulated, warned consumer group Which?.

The group said that energy bills for poorly insulated homes could increase 35 per cent by 2020, leading to an increase in fuel poverty. According to Which? other factors affecting energy prices include dependence on imported energy and investment in renewable energy.

It estimates that energy bills for a three bedroom semi detached house could rise to £2,600 in the next decade.

Martyn Hocking, editor of Which?, said: "Energy is going to get a lot more expensive over the next decade so the only way to avoid bigger bills is to use less of it. The government must take urgent action to stop bills from spiraling out of control and to help consumers make their homes more energy efficient."

Which? quoted figures that show 73 per cent of people would be worried if their energy bills increased by a third and 28 per cent are already worried about the amount they have to pay.

A scheme has recently been announced by the government to install smart meters in every home in the UK between 2012 and 2020. The meters will show real time energy usage and it is hoped that they will help lower gas and electricity bills and reduce carbon emissions.

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