Basingstoke woman told she'll have to pay an extra £600 a year as energy bills soar
ITV Meridian's Mel Bloor has been speaking to Maxine Boyes about her drastic rise in energy bills
A woman from Basingstoke is calling on energy companies to do more to help customers facing massive price hikes.
Maxine Boyes, lives alone in a two bed house, and is on a key meter. She's been told her gas and electric bills will be going up by £600 a year from April.
This week, households have been warned they could soon be paying more than £3,000 a year to heat their homes after Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent the price of gas and oil to record levels.
Ms Boyes received an email from her energy provider to outline a planned rise in energy bills from April 1st, which Maxine says will cost her an extra £600 a year for gas and electricity.
She said, "Currently my gas costs me £592, and it's going up to £979.
"It's extortionate. We're in a situation where everything is going up, inflation, council tax, cost of living.
"And then you're going to be hit with these massive energy bills, and what's even more worrying is that we'll see another increase in October.
"I'll be making a decision on whether I eat, or keep myself warm.
Maxine is on a prepayment key meter which has the benefit of being able to control how much she spends but the downside is that it costs her more.
Maxine Boyes says she'll have to keep topping up throughout the summer to be able to heat her home next winter
"All of us every day people are going to be struggling, added Maxine.
"It's going to be tough, and it worries me for the elderly especially. It's really tough for everybody, and the country is in a bit of a state.
"Energy companies and making around £600 million a year, so why can't they use that to subsidise people and help us out?
"Some people can probably still afford it, but it's still not fair."
Joe Malinowski from price comparison site The Energy Shop says the situation is looking bleak.
"As things stand bills are heading into the zone of £3,000 towards the end of the year.
"It may happen sooner than that.
Joe Malinowski, The Energy Shop
Russia's invasion of Ukraine means the price of gas and oil has been pushed up further.
When the price of oil rises, the price of most things rises, most obviously petrol and diesel.
On Tuesday, the market price of a barrel of oil surged above $100 as fears rose about supply disruption due to the invasion of Ukraine.
A Government spokesperson said: “We know people are facing pressure with the cost of living - which is why we’re taking £4.2 billion of decisive action to help.
“Our support includes reducing the universal credit taper - a tax cut worth over £2 billion - supporting households with their bills through the Energy Price Cap, Warm Home Discount Scheme, Winter Fuel Payments, Cold Weather Payments, and Household Support Fund, as well as freezing alcohol and fuel duty.”
Find out what help is available if you're struggling to pay your energy bills