Energy bills top concern in cost-of-living concerns

17th June 2022

Over half (58%) of people were most concerned about energy bills. This compared to 12% who were most concerned about transport and 8% who were most concerned about food and other household essentials according to new survey by BEIS

The survey found that around one in ten (11%) were equally worried about all of them and 8% said they were not worried about any bills. When asked why they were particularly concerned about energy bills 78% said they were worried about further increases while 51% worried about it being less easy to go without energy than other things.

Women were more likely to be very or fairly worried about energy bills (69% compared with 60% of men) as were people aged 25-54 (74% compared with 60% of those aged 55 and over).

People who were renting were more likely to be worried about energy bills than people living in owner-occupied homes (71% compared with 63%).

Commenting on the findings, Helen Morrissey, Senior Pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said “Energy costs are the biggest pressure on household budgets with well over half of people worried about how they are going to pay them. Concerns about paying for other essentials such as transport and food are also high but pale in comparison against the challenge of heating our homes. These concerns are well placed, households have already had to absorb an enormous hike in the energy price cap in April and the dread of a potential further £800 hike to come in Autumn is very worrying.”

“The government has stepped in with a package of measures designed to alleviate the worst of the cost hikes with payments being issued over the coming months. However, these may only prove to bring short-term relief with prices likely to continue rising for some time to come. We could see the government coming under further pressure as we approach Winter to offer more support.”

“Reports are circulating that British consumers are already spending less in a bid to meet their mounting costs and their big worry about energy is that it’s much harder to cut back on than other things. We are seeing more people adopting measures such as washing clothes at lower temperatures or keeping rooms not in use cooler in a bid to manage their costs – these will make a difference but will only go so far. The reality is prices continue to race ahead and people will be left with harder choices about heating their homes as we approach the colder winter months.”