Nottingham residents have expressed their frustration as they face the consequences of an increase in energy bills.
A £94 energy increase to the average annual household energy bill has come into effect this new year after regulator Ofgem upped its price cap in response to a rise in global gas market price.
This has resulted in a five per cent increase in energy bills, at the start of what could be the coldest three months of the year.
Retired social worker Rita Townsend, 63 said: “I think people have become complacent with just accepting it, nobody is questioning it or saying we’ve had enough.”
She added: “We need everyone to get together and make the sacrifice of freezing for a week in order to make some sort of stand.”
Every three months, the energy regulator sets a maximum price that suppliers can charge customers on standard variable tariffs for each unit of energy.
The increase means that for the period 1 January to 31 March, the price cap is £1,928 a year for a typical household that uses gas and electricity and pays their bill by direct debit.
This is up from £1,834 from the previous three months.
Recruitment manager Alex Kean, 30 said: “I’ve had issues with my energy bill provider, where I’ve been told its fixed based on the fact I consume so much, but the total never matches the usage.
“As a homeowner of three years, when I first moved in, we were averaging about £70 a month and now I’m paying around £160, I keep getting told its fixed on the amount I consume but I don’t trust what they say.”
The expectation is that prices will fall when the cap next changes on 1 April as the UK head into the Spring.
“This is a difficult time for many people, and any increase in bills will be worrying, but this rise around the levels we saw in August is a result of the wholesale cost of gas and electricity rising, which needs to be reflected in the price that we all pay” said Ofgem Chief executive, Jonathan Brearley.
The public has been advised to “weigh up all the information, seek independent advice from trusted sources and consider what is most important for them whether that the lowest price or the security of a fixed deal.”
Mr Kean added: “Luckily, my partner and I have had a pay increase to come back from the cost of living, it used to be a thing where the money could be used to go on holiday or treat yourself but most of the money goes to surviving now.”
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills speak to your provider immediately, under the rules of Ofgem, your supplier must help you, usually by negotiating an affordable payment plan.