Millions of households in the UK will be forced to choose between heating and eating this winter.
That’s according to new research from uSwitch, released to draw attention to Fuel Poverty Awareness Day today – it notes 3.4 million UK households are in fuel poverty, with 1.6 million households saying they will be forced to choose between warming up their home and putting food on the table this winter.
The study reveals the worst affected are in Sheffield (14%), Norwich (12%) and Plymouth (11%) and shows on a national basis, more than a third (36%) are worried about paying their energy bills through the cold period.
An estimated 4.6 million households suggest they won’t turn the heating on even if it’s cold and worryingly, 2.3 million owe their energy supplier a total of £267 million before winter even begins.
uSwitch notes assistance is available – customers may be eligible for grants to help pay their energy bills or insulate their property, including the £140 Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Allowance and Cold Weather Payment.
Richard Neudegg, Head of Regulation at uSwitch, said: “It is a terrifying prospect to have to choose between putting your heating on this winter or feeding yourself and your family.
“Fuel Poverty Awareness Day is crucially important in the fight to help those who can’t afford to keep their homes warm enough. Help is available and people shouldn’t feel like they need to suffer in silence.”