Households forced to cut spending on food to pay energy bills

Millions of Brits have been forced to reduce their food expenditure in an attempt to pay gas and electricity bills

More than half of British households are being forced to cut spending to cope with utility bills

More than half of British households are being forced to cut spending to cope with utility bills

According to a new study by Citizens Advice, more than 50% of adults believe they will have to curb their spending due to the rising cost of household bills.

In total, 59% of respondents who said they would be cutting down expenditure said they expected to reduce their spending on food. A further 66% said they would reduce spending on going out with friends and 37% said they would look to cut their energy bills.

The findings were revealed as part of Big Energy Saving Week, which launches today and is supported by a number of charities and energy companies.

One fifth of households struggling to pay utility bills

The survey also found that 20% of Brits are having trouble keeping up with bill payments and a further 32% occasionally struggle to pay bills on time.

Of the respondents who said they were worried about their winter fuel bill, 15% used their overdraft to pay bills and one in 10 borrowed from friends or family to cover costs.

Despite these figures, two-thirds of respondents admitted they had not looked at switching to a cheaper energy deal.

Between June and November 2013, more than one in ten consumers who switched energy supplier for both gas and electricity managed to save £350 or more on their annual energy bill.

‘Half of the UK are under serious scrutiny to try to find savings’

Chief Executive at Citizens Advice Gillian Guy said: “The soaring cost of living will force millions of people to cut back on basic necessities like travel, energy, housing and food.

“With our research finding that the household budgets of half of the UK are under serious scrutiny to try to find savings, we’re keen to help as many people as possible make sure they are not taking drastic action or paying a penny more than they have to for a warm home or to keep the lights on.

“Through Big Energy Saving Week Citizens Advice is helping consumers to check, switch and insulate. Citizens Advice Bureaus up and down the country will be out and about to help consumers find better deals, make the most of extra help available and vote with their feet if they can get a better deal.”

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