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By: MarkJ - 10 January, 2011 (11:34 AM)
pound signThe importance of having access to the Internet was underlined again today. A new study revealed that those without a UK ISP paid more for their heating and hot water bills (average of £756 per year on a standard tariff) than broadband connected surfers who could take an online energy plan (£616).

According to the uSwitch study, a typical UK household can expect to spend around £1,239 a year on energy bills, some 60% of which will go on heating and hot water alone. Meanwhile households that pay their fuel bills online spend just £1,010, or £229 a year less on their total energy and about £140 less on hot water and heating.

Tom Lyon, Energy Expert at uSwitch, said:

"When winter fuel bills start to hit doormats consumers could be in for a nasty shock. They will be facing the combined impact of winter price rises along with a potential £7 a week additional cost caused by severe cold weather.

The concern is that many will react by cutting down on heating and hot water which will severely impact their quality of life whereas they could cut the cost of these essentials by £140 a year by moving online."

However it's worth remembering that this isn't just an issue for those who don't have internet access. The UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported in August last year that 19.2 million households (73%) are now online. However Ofgem's 'Sustainability Report' states that just 13% of households have adopted an online energy plan.

Today it's cheaper than ever to get online, with plenty of broadband deals and low-cost computer solutions being available. Ultimately the amount of money that can be saved will usually far out-way any initial investment.
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