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Winter bills hike will mean 'hefty statements'

01 February 2010

UK households are in for "record high" energy bills following the coldest winter in 30 years, one price comparison website has warned.

Recently-published figures from moneysupermarket.com have revealed that the average winter fuel bill for 2009-10 will be £616.

This compares to an average cost of £217 just six years ago.

According to the website, the average annual household energy bill now stands at £1,233, a 26 per cent increase on last year.

Scott Byrom, utilities manager at moneysupermarket.com, said: "Many people will be getting a hefty quarterly statement landing on their doormat at any time, that's if they haven't already received this nasty surprise.

"This bill is likely to be the biggest winter energy bill they've ever had to pay."

Large energy bills can be a particular worry for older people who traditionally set aside a bigger proportion of their income for fuel.

This reported price rise could see many pensioners look into ways to ease the financial burden of household bills.

Schemes such as equity release could be one way to achieve this as through such policies homeowners can acquire funds taken from the value of their property.