By 2009 it is estimated that around 5.7 million households in Britain will be in fuel poverty status. Almost a quarter of the population, most of them on low income will be affected by the increasing cost of heating and energy.
Fuel poverty, defined as a situation where a household spends more than ten per cent of their income on heating and energy bills, will increase substantially over the coming months, according to the National Housing Federation.
According to latest estimates, electricity bills are likely to go us to more than £500, with gas bills to go above £900 by 2010.
The report by the National Housing Federation confirms that there a ‘full scale energy crisis’ according to Ruth Davidson from the Federation. Ms Davidson said: “Ministers need to grasp the nettle and take strong and radical action to protect the nation’s energy customers.
“Energy companies must be regulated so that they can no longer charge prepayment meter customers grotesquely high tariffs, a cap must be put on the prices they charge, and they must be made to use their profits to pay for their social and energy efficiency responsibilities rather than piling these costs on the already crippled consumer.”
Customers who pay for their energy using prepayment schemes incur higher tariffs and by 2010 they are expected to pay £65 more than customers paying a quarterly bill, according to the findings of the report.