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Household energy use falls by a quarter

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Average energy consumption by households in England and Wales fell by 24.7% between 2005 and 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The East Midlands had the highest household energy consumption for every year in the period, but this decreased 29.4% from 39.0mWh per household in 2005 to 27.5mWh in 2011.

Over the seven year period, the South West had the lowest average household energy consumption for five of these years. The only two years when the South West did not record the lowest energy consumption were 2005 and 2011, when Wales had the lowest energy consumption per household.

Households faced rising bills over the period.

Jo Ganly, an energy expert at said: “These figures show the true impact of higher energy costs – people are choosing to go without rather than risk racking up a huge bill. As the cost of energy has soared so too have the number of households forced to ration their use.”

Last winter almost seven in ten households (69%) went without heating at some point to keep their energy costs down, while over a third of people (35%) said that cutting back on energy usage was affecting their quality of life or health – up from 15% the previous year. Almost nine in ten (88%) now consider the cost before switching their heating on, uSwitch research found.

Ganly said: “These figures also demonstrate why it’s so important for suppliers to hold fire on any price rises this year – consumers are reaching breaking point and another long winter could see many more tipped over the edge.”

Thousands of households face a rise in energy bills next month as special fixed tariffs from EDF Energy, Scottish Power, E.ON and nPower come to an end.

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