In a press release this morning, consumer group Which? revealed that the cost of living rose by almost 30% between 2002 and 2012. Alongside a shocking 62% increase in water prices, and 42% jump in the cost of buying food, it was disclosed that the price of the average household energy bill has increased by a whopping 52%.
This figure is even more surprising alongside the fact that energy consumption has actually dropped by 17% over the same time period, according to government figures. Research carried out by Which? showed that the average energy spend in 2012 was £1,200. Compared to the £790 annual bill of 2003/4, this means that UK households are having to pay an extra £410 each year, despite consumption dropping overall.
When put in comparison to the fact that housing costs, such as rent and mortgages, have increased just £210 in the past ten years, the £420 hike in energy prices seems all the more shocking.
This news comes shortly after energy watchdog Ofgem revealed that UK energy firms have been able to double their profit margins – from around £48 to £102 per customer – due to drops in wholesale prices, but have failed to pass this saving onto consumers.
Ofgem has been cracking down on energy suppliers in an effort to make the UK energy market fairer for consumers. The energy watchdog has already successfully made suppliers display their cheapest tariffs on bills, as enforced more accurate bills through the smart meter rollout. However, with the revelation in energy prices we’ve seen in the past few weeks – it seems that more, still, must be done.
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