The recent price increases announced by four of the Big Six energy suppliers are set to push thousands more households requiring cheap electricity deals into fuel poverty.
This is the view of Councillor Paul Wheeldon of Cheltenham borough council, who warned the Gloucestershire Echo that 8,000 more homes in the town could be categorised as living in fuel poverty before the year is out.
"For a place like Cheltenham, one of the richest towns in the country, it's a shocking figure," he pointed out.
"This is being felt right across the town. Several constituents have come to me with concerns about it and it's an increasing problem here."
The newspaper pointed to below-inflation rises in household income as one of the contributing factors, along with the price hikes announced by British Gas, Scottish and Southern Energy, ScottishPower and E.ON.
Meanwhile, Consumer Focus has backed a call for a minimum energy efficiency standard to be applied to all private rented homes by 2016.
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