Homeowners in Cumbria could consider comparing energy companies as new figures suggest that high prices have contributed to an increase in winter deaths.
The News and Star reports new research has revealed that nearly 300 additional deaths were reported in the region during the winter of 2006/07 than in the previous summer.
Fuel poverty is viewed as a contributing factor, with over 14,300 Cumbrian homes having to allocate more than ten per cent of their annual income towards paying energy bills.
According to the paper, the report stated: "Whilst the county as a whole appears relatively affluent, this masks high levels of deprivation affecting specific neighbourhoods and communities."
Cumbria county council has responded to the data by approving an anti-poverty strategy designed to provide assistance for low-income families and to offer more comprehensive advice.
Part of the scheme will also involve encouraging more households to apply for benefits to which they are entitled.
All the UK's major energy companies have announced price reductions in recent weeks, although they fail to match the scale of increases implemented throughout 2008.
Mark Todd, of energyhelpline.com, said: "UK households can fight back. Using a switching service, they can compare energy prices and switch gas and electricity to a much cheaper option. The average customer can save up to £378 in a few minutes."
If you want to find out more about your energy options and how you could save up to £378 in minutes, click here.