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Spend & Save

Nine out of 10 families will be forced to ration their heating this winter


The soaring cost of gas and electricity is forcing more households to turn off heating. Research from uSwitch suggests 89 per cent of families will ration their energy use this winter to save on bills.

Taking the blame is the 21 per cent hike in energy prices in the past 12 months which has left the average household having to find an extra £224 for heating. "As the cost of our energy bills escalates people are being forced into making potentially dangerous choices," warns Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.

"Whether they sacrifice something else to keep the heating on or turn the heating off to pay for something else, there is a modern-day Russian roulette going on in homes up and down the country."

Last winter, more than half of all households went without heating at some point to keep their energy costs down, risking health and well-being. Worse, almost seven million households are in fuel poverty, with single parents and pensioners the worst-hit.

The charity Turn2us is running a social media campaign to build up a nationwide fuel poverty map. It wants people to submit information on how much they pay for energy as a percentage of their income with the results automatically plotted on an interactive map. To join in or follow the campaign go online to http://fuelpoverty.turn2us.org.uk.