MORE than half of all Scots are cutting back on their energy use in a bid to save money, a grim new report by the Office for National Statistics has revealed.  

The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey found that 89 per cent of adults across the UK reported that their cost of living had increased, equal to around 46 million people. 

This is an increase from around 6 in 10 when the question was first asked in November 2021.

More than a third of those whose cost of living had gone up cut back spending on food and essentials while almost a quarter were forced to used savings to cover costs, and 13%  turned to forms of credit.

The survey also revealed huge disparities, with disabled people more likely than non-disabled people to have reduced their spending on food and essentials. 

The same is true of those living in the most deprived areas or on a low wage.

Around 4 in 10 of those with an income between £10,000 and £15,000, £15,000 and £20,000, or £20,000 to £30,000 a year were cutting back. 

While around 27% of those with an annual salary of £40,000 were feeling the pinch. 

Renters too were more impacted than those who own their homes outright or are paying off a mortgage. 

The ONS suggested that this difference could be down to homeowners being protected from rising prices because of fixed rate mortgages, while tenants are more exposed to increases in rent.

People aged between 55 and 74 years were also more likely to be cutting their energy use than those in the majority of other age groups. 

The survey also found that 54% of Scots had cut back on fuel such as gas and electricity in their home because their cost of living has increased, compared to 41% of people living in London, and a UK average of 51%.

Only Wales on 55% and the North West of England on 56% were higher. 

Using more credit appeared to be less common among those with an income of less than £10,000 or earning more than £50,000 than on average. The ONS said this "may reflect differences in access to credit or in the need to use it."