Energy bills ‘behind surge in household costs’

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paying the billsMany of us find it hard to pay our utility bills, so perhaps it's unsurprising that a survey has revealed that escalating energy prices have seen the cost of running a home sky rocket.

The survey from Halifax found that it's now more expensive to own and run a home than at any time since 2008. Figures show that the annual cost of running a home soared beyond £9,300 at the beginning of the year. This is the highest figure for four years, the study found.

It was also up by almost 3% compared to a year earlier.

Halifax said that a £218 increase in the price of gas and electricity has accounted for the vast majority of the overall rise in the cost of running a home over the past 12 months.

Conversely, mortgage payments fell by around £66 during the same period, to account for around a third of housing costs. This compares to more than 40% back in 2008.

The past 10 years have seen energy bills surge by 145%, costing an average of £1,653 a year. This is equivalent to around 20% of overall household costs.

If you think you're paying over the odds for your utilities, find out what other offers are available - and don't be afraid to switch! Here's a step-by-step guide to avoiding the hidden costs of switching providers.