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41% worry about their energy bills, study finds

More than two-fifths (41 per cent) of UK households worry they are paying over the odds for their gas and electricity consumption, according to a new report.

A survey carried out by the Smart Meter Central Delivery Body (SMCDB) found complicated tariffs and a general lack of understanding was contributing towards a feeling of mistrust directed at power suppliers.

Around 10,000 people were questioned on their energy bills and whether or not they were aware of how much they were paying.

Those living in fuel poverty - where ten per cent of their income is spent on gas and electricity - were perhaps understandably the demographic that demonstrated the highest level of mistrust.

Worryingly, one in ten admitted to not knowing the sum they were shelling out each month, blaming a confusing billing system as the reason behind this. Further more, over a third of respondents said they believed what they were being invoiced for could be inaccurate.

SMCDB chief executive Sacha Deshmukh: "More than half the population feel they can’t trust any energy supplier.

“In an era when we are able to compare, record and track our household spending more easily than ever before, two in five of us have no idea whether we are paying too much for our energy."

As a result, the organisation has called for more to be done to help make the system clearer, updating the way power consumption is monitored along the way. 

The government is aiming to have a smart meter installed in every home in the UK by 2020, which should raise awareness among consumers of where and when they are needlessly wasting energy.

Furthermore, the Green Deal is currently offering households up to £7,600 in subsidies to help them install improvements like solid wall insulation, which can enable them to lower the amount of heat that escapes their properties.

Posted by Helen Hughes