Birmingham is the worst place impacted by soaring energy prices in England and Wales, according to new research.
Friends of the Earth found that there are almost 9,000 energy crisis hotspots across England and Wales where communities are at greatest risk of serious financial hardship as a result of unaffordable energy costs.
Bradford was the second worst affected area, followed by Cornwall, Sandwell, County Durham and Enfield in London.
Friends of the Earth define these hotspots as neighbourhoods were energy use is high, but household income is below the national average.
The latest analysis also found that these at-risk neighbourhoods are not only home to a higher proportion of children than other areas, but that people of colour are also twice as likely to live in them, highlighting the disparities that exist across local areas.
The environmental group added that Birmingham tops the list in terms of poorly insulated housing - which increases heating costs.The average annual energy bill is currently more than 50% higher than it was six months ago - with costs expected to climb higher still later after a new energy price cap is announced by regulator Ofgem. Chris Crean, from West Midlands Friends of the Earth, said, “There’s no downplaying how catastrophic this and following winters will be for millions of people if energy bills rise as high as they’re predicted to, unless the government meaningfully intervenes.
"Instead of woeful and poorly targeted cash handouts, or the promise of tax cuts that won’t help those who need it the most, the government must beef up its package of emergency financial support by channelling money to those least able to pay their energy bills."
"This data shows we need to see urgent action across the West Midlands.”