Rising utility bills the leading worry for UK consumers

Energy: household bills are a major concern for consumers
Energy: household bills are a major concern for consumers

Rising utility bills are now the single biggest concern for twice as many UK consumers (15%) as they were two years ago (8%), according to new research figures from Nielsen.

The survey's findings come as energy giants such as British Gas, EDF and Npower face a public backlash over energy price rises.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions measures consumer confidence, major consumer concerns and spending intentions in each financial quarter.

The data was taken from the first three months of 2013, and saw more than 29,000 internet users in 58 countries questioned.

Of UK consumers' first and second biggest concerns, the top six all related to financial issues:

  1. Rising utility bills (31%)

  2. The economy (23%)

  3. Rising food prices (22%)

  4. Debt (19%)

  5. Job security (18%)

  6. Rising fuel prices (14%)

Chris Morley, Nielsen's managing director for UK & Ireland, said: "It’s hardly surprising that finances dominate our concerns.

"Almost one in three UK consumers have no spare cash once they’ve covered their essential living expense, much higher than the one in five across Europe as a whole. Furthermore, almost nine in 10 consumers think we’re in a recession and, amongst those that do, only 15% think we’ll be out of it within a year."

The energy sector said it was improving the information it disseminate to customers.

A spokesperson for Energy UK, the trade body for the utility industry, said: "We understand that people are concerned by the rising cost of living which is why our members are working to provide clear, good value tariffs and help in reducing bills.

"The relationship between energy provider and customer is vital and we are improving our information so customers can choose the services which are right for them."

The survey revealed that other concerns, outside of financial issues, are health which is a top-two concern for 10%, children’s education (8%), work/life balance (7%) and parents’ welfare and happiness.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer