Consumers might be over the worst of the recession but soaring energy prices have pushed household expenditure to its highest level in three years.
According to the Independent, many people are in need of cheap gas and electricity tariffs as utility bills climbed by an extra £68 in the 12 months to March 2011.
Since 2008, average energy bills have increased by £237 - or almost a fifth - meaning consumers do not just have to contend with widespread unemployment, stalled pay rises and rising inflation.
The newspaper's report comes after Melvyn King, governor of the Bank of England, warned that energy prices could undergo a 15 per cent hike this year alone because of rising wholesale costs.
This could prompt more householders into carrying out an energy comparison to find a cheaper gas and electricity tariff.
Make sure you're not paying too much for your energy - compare gas and electricity prices now at energyhelpline.com or call 0800 074 0745