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Millions struggling to pay energy bills

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22/08/2006

Some 8.6 million adults are struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills following recent price increases, new research has revealed.

The research from comparison website MoneyExpert.com shows that many households are finding it difficult to pay their household bills, with as many as a quarter of poorer households finding it difficult to pay for the costs.

The price rises are prompting a mass switchover with as many 6.4 million people planning to move gas or electricity suppliers in the next three months, the research shows.

But MoneyExpert.com is warning them to wait as they risk moving to a supplier which will then impose another increase – pushing up their bills. Last month British Gas, for example, imposed increases of 12.4% for gas and 9.4% for electricity from September taking its average annual dual fuel bill to more than £1,000.

Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of MoneyExpert.com, said: “The rise in energy bills is really hitting home. People may not notice the effects now with the warm weather but will really feel the pinch when the cold weather returns.

“The advice to consumers has to be to switch suppliers but people need to be careful. So far British Gas, EDF and ScottishPower have announced rises but others are certain to follow. Customers need to be careful when choosing a new supplier that they don’t simply find themselves having to move again within a few months.”
 

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