As EDF becomes the latest energy provider to increase prices – by a whopping 10.8 per cent – 314,000 more households will be face winter in fuel poverty, spending more than 10 per cent of their net income on fuel.
EDF was the last of the big six to hike prices increasing bills by an average of 7 per cent or £90 a year, with only E.ON promising a freeze until the end of 2012.
It means that 7.2 million households in the UK are now living in fuel poverty with households energy bills costing an extra £753m, making the typical annual cost a record £1,334 by the end of the year, according to price comparison site uSwitch.com.
"The figures speak for themselves," says Ann Robinson, uSwitch's director of consumer policy. "Taking this winter's price hikes into account, the average household bill has rocketed by 156 per cent since 2004.
"Because energy is such a basic need, you cannot have a winter price hike without casualties. The most visible are the seven million households who will now be living in fuel poverty, but there will be hidden victims too, many of whom will be gambling with their health or well-being as they turn their heating down or off in response to higher prices."