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Tenants most at risk from energy price hikes

14 July 2008

People who rent spend double the proportion of their disposable income on fuel compared to homeowners

Tenants are more at risk from expected energy price rises than homeowners as suppliers boost bills in response to the increasing cost of wholesale gas and electricity, according to new research* by MoneyExpert.com.

The independent financial comparison website says people who rent spend as much as 13 per cent of their weekly disposable income on gas and electricity costs, whereas those with mortgages typically pay out just five per cent.

And with experts predicting that household energy bills could increase by as much as 40 per cent this winter, meaning people may have to fork out as much as £400 more a year on average for their gas and electricity, MoneyExpert.com warns that tenants in particular may struggle to meet the cost of rising bills. Last year the average cost of a combined gas and electricity bill was £924**.

MoneyExpert.com believes one of the main reasons tenants are suffering is because they leave the decision on changing suppliers to their landlord and is urging them to switch to cut costs.
According to the MoneyExpert.com Switching Index over three million households switch energy supplier every six months and experts believe that you could save as much as £365*** a year by switching gas and electricity supplier.

Sean Gardner, director of MoneyExpert.com, said: "Tenants typically pay out more for their energy and power than homeowners. Whether as a total per household or the average per capita, the simple fact is, more of your money goes on fuel."

"Theoretically suppliers do not differentiate between renters and homeowners so it must come down to the fact that tenants just don't think about changing supplier because that responsibility lies with their landlord. But if you're paying more than you should you have every right to ask your landlord to look at switching - it needn't take long and if you can save money it's well worth it."

"Monthly bills for a rented home are up by over 10 per cent across the country so renters are feeling the pinch. Paying more for your energy than you need to is not the way to relieve the pressure."

Notes:
* Analysis of bespoke dataset provided by Office of National Statistics. Sample included 4,390 households and 11,470 people, of which 7,950 were adults. Per capita and further analysis conducted by MoneyExpert.com
Source: Family Expenditure Survey and the Expenditure and Food Survey, National Statistics (c) Crown Copyright 2008 Published with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO).
** Energywatch
*** Energyhelpline.com

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