ICM carried out a large-scale nationally representative quantitative online survey of 6,000 adults (aged 18+) living in the UK on behalf of Citizen’s Advice.
Among the findings, there were several worrying figures relating to energy consumption:
- 2 million UK households are currently behind on their energy bills, among which 600,000 have fallen behind since the pandemic reached Britain in February 2020.
- Half (51%) of those who are behind on their energy bills have not been offered support from their supplier.
- Almost half (48%) of the public think that they are using more energy than normal.
- Those who have fallen behind on energy bills have also fallen behind in other areas, with 62% behind on water bills, 62% behind on council tax, 50% behind on rent, and 48% behind on broadband bills.
ICM carried out the survey between 12 November and 25 November 2020, meaning that the entire fieldwork period fell within the ‘second national lockdown’ – that is, the fieldwork coincided with the new national restrictions that came into effect on 5 November 2020. It is worth noting that these national restrictions applied to England only, with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland each having their own specific restrictions during this time.
Further detail can be found on the Citizen’s Advice website here (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-citizens-advice-works/media/press-releases/covid-drives-over-half-a-million-people-into-the-red-on-energy-bills/)