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A third of Scots could switch off heating by 2015

posted on 6 June 2012 | posted in General News

One in three families in Scotland could be without heating within the next three years due to increasing bills, a startling new study claims. Energy provider comparison website, uSwitch.com believes that by 2015, a third of households north of the border could be forced to switch off their heating, owing to rising prices. Research carried out by the firm showed that bills currently stand at an average of 1,252 per year, but could reach 1,500. By 2018, it alleges, an annual energy bill could rise to 2,766. To put this into context, back in 2004, energylivenews.com reports, the average energy bill was just 522. uSwitch's Ann Robinson told scotsman.com: "The UK is hurtling towards a cliff, beyond which the> price of household energy will become unaffordable. Once the average bill hits 1,500 per year, consumers will be forced to compromise on their comfort, health and wellbeing." The website found that in addition to those giving up their heating, two thirds would actively decide not to heat their home on some occasions, in order to make some savings. However, one option that householders may not have considered is changing from gas or electric heating to oil. Installing an oil storage tank can be carried out quickly and easily by an OFTEC registered engineer but the bonus is that oil can be bought in advance, i.e. when the prices are low and stored ready for use when the temperatures drop. What's more, neighbours or community groups can bulk-buy oil, purchasing fuel at an even more competitive price. In fact, Energy Secretary Edward Davey is lobbying for collecting purchasing to become commonplace urging businesses, community groups and charities to find ways to promote the idea. "I want to help make collective purchasing become a permanent feature of the UK energy market," he told egovmonitor.com. "This can be a really useful tool for consumers by making it easier to move to a better deal and to get real savings ".
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