Consumers paying £410 more for energy than 10 years ago - despite using 17% less fuel

Credit: PA

Energy prices are now costing the average consumer £410 more a year than they would have a decade ago, according to a leading watchdog.

Which? found that yearly spending on energy had rocketed by 52% over and above inflation according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

An average consumer would have paid £790 for their yearly energy use in 2003/04, Which? said, but in 2012 the same amount of power would have cost them £1,200.

The hike comes despite domestic energy consumption dropping by 17% over the same time frame, according to figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The price of gas and electricity had outstripped inflation since 2003/04, with an average increase of 137% compared to 27%, Which? said.

In contrast, other housing costs such as rent or mortgage had risen by £210 over the same time period.

The price of gas and electricity had outstripped inflation since 2003/04 Credit: PA

Over the same period, water supply costs had gone up by 67% and food by 43%.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:

Ed Davey is waiting for a the Competition and Markets Authority report to be published before he acts. Credit: PA

Almost three-quarters (72%) of customers said they were worried about the price of energy in surveys run by the watchdog.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: