press room

Families forced to cut back on food due to rising energy bills

Posted on 13 Mar 2014

  • 43% of people are cutting back on food shopping to pay their energy bills
  • 82% of people are worried about how they will pay their winter energy bills
  • 27% of people are being stringent with other household bills to afford increased energy costs
  • Households wasting £1.4billion a year
  • Save £286 by switching energy suppliers

Cutting back on energyNew research from has revealed that 82 per cent of customers are worried how they will heat their homes this winter due to the rising costs of energy bills. In fact, 43% of people are cutting back on their weekly food shop, to help pay their heating bills.

Household bills have risen dramatically over the last few months, following a summer of price rises, bad press and damning findings from Ofgem that energy suppliers are making a massive profit of £125¹ for each average customer. People are now being forced to ration their everyday essentials and 65 per cent of’s customers admitted that they were cutting back on other in order to pay energy bills.

However new research suggests that today’s households are wasting more than £1.4bn each year simply by not switching their energy supplier².

20% of customers have admitted they’ve never switched their energy supplier or tariff, and with around 25 million homes in the UK, this would mean 5 million households are paying over the odds for their energy³.

The average annual UK bill for someone who has never switched gas or electricity supplier is £1,316⁴.This decreases to £1,030 on the current best buy deal from First Utility, on their iSave 9 dual fuel tariff (where gas and electricity is supplied by the same firm), when paying by direct debit. This is a saving of £286 which can go towards the weekly shop.

 Lisa Greenfield, energy analyst, says: “As costs of everyday living are increasing, people must look at alternative ways to save money rather than cutting down on daily essentials or even those little luxuries. Our research has shown that 20 per cent of people have not switched energy suppliers as they believe each  supplier is as expensive as the next.”

 “We worry that people are taking extreme measures and are suffering in a bid to save energy, just by making simple changes like switching energy suppliers can save you money on an annual basis. Shopping around on a price comparison site and switching your tariff or supplier could save on average £286 ⁵.” has put together the cheapest dual fuel tariffs, for a medium energy user, paying by direct debit, as at 10 November 2011⁶.

Energy update


Notes to Editors:
² & ³
⁴ &⁵ Savings achieved by switching from an average standard tariff paying on receipt of the bill, to the best available tariff, First Utility’s iSave 9 for an average customer
⁶ Table shows the best tariff for each of the suppliers, based on the Ofgem standard average user, averaged across the 14 UK regions
Statistics were obtained by a poll of 500 customers in the UK, in November 2011 and all figures have been rounded to the nearest 1%

Media information

For more information, contact our media team -

If your enquiry is time-critical, please write 'URGENT' in your email subject line. 
If you would like a ring-back, please remember to include your telephone number. media team 

Laura Buchan - Head of PR     Tel: 02920 434 238
Sarah Wenham - PR Manager    Tel: 02920 434 275
Ben James - PR Executive     Tel: 02920 434 295

About is one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services. was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, holiday insurance, pet insurance, small van insurance, motorcycle insurance, breakdown cover and gas and electricity, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance. is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides an, objective and unbiased comparison service. 
By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more.’s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Press team contacts

For more information, please contact our press team.


If your enquiry is time-critical, please write "URGENT" in your email subject line. If you would like a ring-back, please include your telephone number. 

All the info you need - from our history to careers, and how we operate.

read more

Media library media

Download our logo or BRIAN resources for web and print. Watch our adverts too!

View more