Rising electricity prices mean 25 per cent of all households across England and Wales are now affected by fuel poverty. According to the Guardian, the proportion who spend at least ten per cent of their income on heating and lighting bills has climbed from one in five a year ago.
This is despite the government's legal duty to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016.
Over five million households in England alone are in fuel poverty, data from Consumer Focus that has been seen by the newspaper revealed.
All of the big six energy suppliers have introduced price rises recently and gas and electricity bills, along with wage stagnation, are the main reason for the rise in struggling households.
Fuel poverty is at its highest in the north-east and West Midlands where levels exceed 30 per cent, while the figure for the south-east is only 17 per cent.
Older people are likely to be especially vulnerable and the Payments Council recently called on these individuals to compare gas and electricity deals to ensure they are on the best 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