Four in 10 were struggling to pay energy bills even before prices went up

Additionally, nearly a third of respondents said they were struggling to service their mortgage or pay their rent, with 3pc saying they were already delinquent on payments. Meanwhile, 43pc said they could not save any money over the next 12 months.

Nine out of ten adults said they are facing increased living expenses as other price hikes on supermarket shelves and at forecourts contribute to rising energy bills. Inflation is currently at 7 percent, the highest rate in 30 years. Higher gasoline prices were the second leading reason for higher costs, after rising food prices. Fuel was the third most common.

Joanna Elson of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said the numbers paint a “worrying picture”.

She added: “We are already hearing from people who have gone without heating and electricity to try and cut costs. With the full impact of rising energy, food and fuel prices yet to be felt, the situation will only get worse for many more households.”

The energy price cap is widely expected to rise again in October as the war in Ukraine puts further pressure on already stretched supply lines. The cap on annual bills could be raised to as much as £2,607, energy adviser Cornwall Insight says.

Prices will remain “well above average” into 2030 while demand for non-Russian gas persists, Britain’s last remaining coal-fired power stations will close by 2024 and older nuclear power stations will reach the end of their lives. Four in 10 were struggling to pay energy bills even before prices went up

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