Energy prices 'an increasing concern for households'

Households are becoming increasingly concerned about energy prices, according to new research from the Which? consumer group
Gareth McKeown

HOUSEHOLDS are becoming increasingly concerned about energy prices, according to the Which? consumer group.

More than half of all people surveyed (56 per cent) in September believe energy prices should be a key priority for politicians - up by five percentage points from April, when similar research was conducted.

The findings were released just after a tariff hike previously announced by British Gas came into effect this week, adding £76 a year to the average annual dual fuel bill. Similar announcements have previously been made by other providers.

Just last month the two leading Northern Ireland electricity companies announced increases to their tariffs. Power NI announced an increase of 5.6 per cent - the first price hike in four years, while SSE announced a 7.5 per cent rise in household electricity bills. Both tariffs come into effect on October 1.

In Which?'s research, based on a UK survey of over 2,000 people, only social care for older people (68 per cent) ranked higher as a concern.

Addressing financial fraud and scams (40 per cent) and ensuring people save enough for retirement (22 per cent) were also key for consumers.

Which? said the energy market should be tackled as a top priority.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: "Consumers are sick of the endless debate about energy prices and want action immediately."

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