More than a fifth of Britons worry about how they will manage to pay their fuel bills this winter, a survey has found.
The Go Compare study has revealed 22 per cent of householders are unsure how they will manage the cost, while 44 per cent say they will have to be careful to keep their energy usage down.
A further 19 per cent said they would make cutbacks elsewhere so they could keep their heating on, while 18 per cent admitted they went cold at times last winter to keep energy costs down.
Those struggling with debt may be particularly hard-pressed and the situation could get worse, warned head of home services at the website Mark Greening.
He said: "Continuing increases in wholesale gas and electricity prices are likely to be passed on to consumers and will be reflected in their winter bills."
Many people are not on the best tariffs, meaning they pay more than they need to, according to Consumer Focus.
Its research indicated this includes 38 per cent of those who have peak-time tariffs, as they do not use appliances much at off-peak times and therefore gain little benefit for lower charges levied in these periods.
By James Francis