Hull families spending winter without heating due to rising cost of energy bills

  • Video report by Michael Billington

Families may soon face the choice between heating their homes and putting food on the table, experts are warning.

There are fears that wholesale energy prices could push costs up by a further 50% in April, meaning average bills could go from £1,277 a year to around £1,865.

It's a particular worry for the one in five families in Hull who are already living in fuel poverty.

Kirstie McKewon (left) and Kirsti Murray (right) have both turned their heating off because of the costs. Credit: ITV Calendar

Mum Kirsti Murray says she's no longer able to use her heating, and instead relies on "putting an extra layer on".

Another local, Kirstie McKewon, says her bills have tripled since the start of winter, which has caused her to struggle physically and mentally.

"You've woken up in a freezing cold house, and you're going out into the freezing cold, and you're coming back to the freezing cold - that's not a life, that's an existence, and it's driving this country into the ground," she said.

The fuel poverty charity National Energy Action predicts that, following the maximum rise in April, there could be as many as six million households in the UK in total in fuel poverty.

Bakery 'up against the wall'

It's not just households fearing price rise, as businesses like Fosters bakery in Barnsley say they've been forced to put prices up to cover their costs.

Owner John Foster, said: "If we don't pass on the increase, we're out of business. When you're backed up against a wall, you can't back into the wall, there's nowhere to go - it's not a choice that we've got."

Credit: PA Images

The Government says it's introduced a series of measures to support people struggling to meet fuel bills, but there's now growing pressure on ministers to announce more.

Options include removing VAT, cutting environmental and social policy levies and changing plans that would add at least £1.8 billion to bills as the cost of dealing with failed energy firms.