The boss of a major UK gas and electricity supplier has warned energy bills could overtake the amount homeowners pay on their mortgages in the next five years.
First Utility's Ian McCaig made the claims in light of new research from his firm which suggests the average UK dual-fuel bill has risen 8.5% - seeing consumers fork out as much as £1,420 a year on energy payments.
According to the research, if bills continue to follow the same trend, consumers could be paying out as £3,761 a year on their energy supply by 2025 - a figure higher than the current mortgage repayments in Stoke-on-Trent, before continuing to soar to figures above the average level of mortgage repayments in Liverpool by 2029.
First Utility chief executive, Ian McCaig, said: "If things continue as they are, or even get worse, for some consumers in some parts of the country we will see energy bills overtake many other bills we have traditionally thought were the biggest items of non-discretionary spend.
"In fact, given that interest rates are low and look like staying that way it could easily be the case that over the next five to 10 years we'll see energy bills even overtake mortgage costs for some consumers."
In spite of its boss's warning on energy prices however, First Utility itself has been guilty of recent price increases, announcing it is set to hit customers on its leading tariff with an 18.6% rise in June as the firm scraps its iSave 12 dual fuel tariff, moving customers instead to its more expensive iSave Everyday tariff.
This is bad news for many energy consumers as First Utility has proven to be a popular alternative to the 'Big Six'.
Last year, it launched a pilot scheme in which customers could sign up for energy efficiency SMS alerts whereby customers would receive a text notification if they were using higher-than-normal amounts of energy.
The text would include information urging them to turn down thermostats on boilers or other such measures aimed at improving energy efficiency in the home.
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