“Nearly 13 million UK homes skip heating due to energy bill fears”

Almost 51% of households earning less than £20,000 opt to go without heating in the cold, according to a new survey

Nearly 13 million households in the UK are choosing to shiver through cold weather rather than switch on their heating due to mounting energy bill concerns, a recent survey by consumer watchdog Which? has highlighted.

As the energy industry anticipates the next price cap announcement from Ofgem, Which? warns that these heating decisions could have serious health repercussions.

Nearly 90% (85%) of households are grappling with financial strain due to soaring energy bills, prompting cutbacks in energy use and leaving many without heat during cold spells.

Last winter, almost half (46%) of those 4,000 surveyed admitted to keeping the heating off despite plummeting temperatures, representing an estimated 13 million households across the nation.

Economic disparities play a significant role, with households earning less than £20,000 annually far less likely (51%) to warm their homes compared to those earning over £80,000 (32%).

Additionally, people aged 45-64 are more prone to forgoing heating due to financial pressures, a demographic caught between dependents and pension ineligibility.

Which? has emphasised the urgency of implementing a social tariff – the watchdog also calls on energy companies to enhance customer support services, prioritise traditional prepayment customers in smart meter rollouts and ensure transparency in billing communications.

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