A good cause has warned that families already struggling with stretched budgets will face more hardship following the announcement that two energy companies are to hike up its prices.
Some householders in Hemel Hempstead are already forced to leave their heating turned off during cold nights because they simply cannot afford it.
British Gas will increase charges for gas and electricity by around six per cent, adding about £80 a year to the average dual fuel bill. While rival Npower has followed suit announcing the price of its gas will go up on average by 8.8 per cent and electricity by 9.1 per cent from November 26 - expected to add around £112 to the average annual dual fuel bill.
Owen Cooper, from Hemel Hempstead’s Christians Against Poverty, said: “There is one person who just can’t afford to put on his gas central heating. He hasn’t had any gas for months and that is just one typical example.
“As winter is coming I think it is going to really make people ill.
“There are lots of families out there who are really struggling to heat their own homes.”
British Gas has played down the increases, which come into effect on November 16, saying it equates to an average weekly increase of £1.50.
But Owen said: “It is going to have a massive effect, More and more clients are struggling to pay their fuel bills. There are quite a lot of clients that I see that have gas and electricity debts.
“Everything is going up - food prices, gas, electricity, petrol - families are struggling to feed their families properly.”
In a national statement British Gas said the rising costs of providing energy is largely outside of its control.
Christians Against Poverty offers cash ‘blessings’ to those struggling to help pay for food shopping or energy bills. Find out more about what help is on offer, or to donate to the cause, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01442 243936 or visit www.capuk.org