‘More than half of households have cut energy use due to soaring costs’

More and more people are curbing spending on essentials such as food and energy as the cost of living continues to soar, reports Rhys Williams

More than half of UK households have cut back on their use of energy in response to cost-of-living concerns, according to new data.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said its latest research also showed an increase in people curbing spending on food and reducing non-essential travel in order to help their finances.

In the survey covering May 25 to June 5, 52% of people said they are using less fuel such as gas and electricity at home following major cost increases.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

Energy bills soared by almost £700 (54%) for the average household on a standard variable energy tariff at the beginning of April when the price cap on bills was changed.

The ONS also noted that 77% of adults aged 16 and over are now worried about the cost of living crisis.

There was also an increase in the number of people spending less on food shopping and essentials, which jumped to 41% of households from 36% a fortnight ago.

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Its survey found the proportion of those buying fewer items in their food shops increased again, rising to 46% from 44% in the previous period.

The worrying figures come after Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation increased to 9% in April and is expected to rise further this year.

Meanwhile, people have also adapted their travel plans to deal with rising costs.

Around 40% of those polled said they have cut back on non-essential travel in vehicles due to the cost-of-living crisis.

More than three-quarters of households said they witnessed an increase in the price of fuel over the period.

It comes a day after the average cost of filling a typical family car with petrol reached £100.