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‘Cruel’ energy postcode lottery means poorest areas pay more

‘Cruel’ energy postcode lottery means poorest areas pay more

Research finds households in the poorest and coldest parts of Britain pay the most for their energy.

Anna Jordan

Household money

Anna Jordan
Updated on 18 June 2015

The poorest regions in Britain pay the most for their energy in a 'cruel' postcode lottery.

That's according to new research from energyhelpline.com, which found that North Wales and Merseyside are the worst off, typically paying £1,321 a year for gas and electricity. That's a whopping 7% more than the East Midlands which is cheapest (£1,238).

The second highest bills are in Northern Scotland, the coldest area in Britain.

Here’s how the postcode lottery shapes up:

Region Name

Region of Britain

Typical Annual Gas and Electricity Bill

Manweb

Merseyside and North Wales

£1,321

Scottish Hydro

North Scotland

£1,307

Midlands

West Midlands

£1,295

Yorkshire

Yorkshire

£1,295

Swalec

Central and South Wales

£1,290

Seeboard

South East England

£1,283

London

London

£1,282

Southern

Southern England

£1,274

Norweb

North West England

£1,273

Average

 

£1,280

Source: energyhelpline.com, June 2015

These regions have among the lowest earnings in Britain, with hundreds of thousands of people earning less than £400 a week. For example, Porthmadog and Ffestiniog in North Wales has the lowest average weekly wage per head at £310.80. Three of the 10 poorest areas in Britain are found in North Wales, while four are found in Northern Scotland.

On top of that, people on the lowest incomes are often on prepayment meters, which excludes them from the most competitive energy deals too.

Mark Todd, director of energyhelpline, described the situation as a "cruel postcode lottery", adding: "There is simply no justice when it comes to energy pricing."

[SPOTLIGHT]The latest Government figures show over two million households spend more than 10% of their income on keeping their homes properly heated. Little wonder that a quarter of us cut back on heating to save money, according to energyhelpline.

Switch now!

The best way to beat these high prices is by switching energy supplier.

Energy switching can save you hundreds of pounds a year. Households in Yorkshire could stand to save the most at £435 a year, according to energhelpline's figures, with the North West saving the least at £285. Residents in the long-suffering North Wales and Merseyside area could save a substantial £377 a year if they change supplier.

 To help you make the switch, we’ve gathered the top 10 deals on the market right now:

Energy Supplier

Tariff Name

Average UK Price

GB Energy Supply

Premium Energy Saver

£870.00

First Utility

The Big Deal Collective Switch April 2016

£892.49

Extra Energy

Fresh Fixed Price Sept 2016 v1

£913.00

First Utility

iSave Fixed July 2016

£913.44

Extra Energy

Clear Fixed Price March 2016 v5

£919.00

Extra Energy

Bright Fixed Price Jan 2016 v9

£919.00

Green Star Energy

Rate Saver 12 Month Fixed 1506

£926.00

Npower

Price Fix May 2016

£927.00

First Utility

iSave Fixed May 2016

£933.49

Scottish Power

Online Fixed Price Energy June 2016

£941.20

Source: loveMONEY energy centre

For more advice, head over to How to switch your energy supplier.

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