independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Three quarters of households unable to heat homes

Thousands can't afford to heat their homes

THOUSANDS of people have ended up being cold this winter because they can’t afford to put on their heating systems.

People are being forced to heavily ration their use of electricity, gas and heating oil because of sharp rises in the costs over the past few years, a survey for price comparison service uSwitch found.

The research found that three quarters of households went cold at home this winter.

Eoin Clarke of uSwitch.ie said it was now costing the average household more than €2,000 a year to heat and light a home.

He said the survey findings, of 1,000 adults, reveal the true impact of the high cost of energy on households in Ireland.

The research shows that as the financial squeeze tightens, consumers are being forced to not just forego luxuries but also have to cut down on household essentials, including heating.

And this could be having a knock-on effect on people’s health and well-being, Mr Clarke said.

 “The average household energy bill today is an eye-watering €2,140 a year and this is having a huge impact on consumers who are struggling to find the cash to keep warm.”

USwitch said homeowners could save up to €250 on the cost of electricity and gas by seeking out the best value options in the market.

 

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