One in five households were affected by a dearth of cheap gas deals in 2009, pushing them into fuel poverty, official figures have shown.
Data released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change found rising energy prices led to a rise of 22 per cent in the number of homes struggling to pay their bills in 2009, and this is predicted to rise further when the figures for 2010 and 2011 are released.
The government department said: "Between 2004 and 2009, energy prices increased: domestic electricity prices increased by over 75 per cent, while gas prices increased by over 122 per cent over the same period.
"This led to the rise in fuel poverty seen over this period," it added.
Meanwhile, National Energy Action has warned that the government's energy market reforms should continue to tackle the problem of fuel poverty in order for the government to meet its targets of eradicating the issue by 2016.
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