Average household fuel bills are expected to rise by almost one-third this month as consumers turn up their heating to keep warm amid freezing temperatures.
The average fuel bill will soar by 30 per cent, with many consumers facing utility payments of more than £200, according calculations from energyhelpline.
The company said the increase in usage would take the average January bill from the usual £156 to £203 - an increase of £47.
It is also expected that many consumers will try to switch energy suppliers in order to secure cheap energy deals.
Mark Todd, director of the company, pointed out that although wholesale energy prices have fallen sharply, this drop has not been reflected in retail prices.
"There is still scope for significant price cuts for both gas and electricity to ease the burden on hard-pressed households," he said.
"A lot of people, especially the old, poor and vulnerable, were already struggling to pay their bills even before the sharp drop in temperatures and they need help."
According to the Met Office, the current cold snap is the most prolonged spell of freezing temperatures in the UK since December 1981.
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