HOME owners are worried after a Barrow-based charity spoke out about the rising cost of energy set to hit households.

Homes saw the biggest rise in the cost of energy in living memory last week when bills increased by 54 per cent, or almost £700, to just under £2,000 a year.

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) warned the cost of heating an average home has now doubled in 18 months, leaving 6.5 million households unable to live in a warm safe home across the UK.

Caveman2020 said: "I now spend more on Heating than I do on Food. The average yearly increase over the last five years in my State Pension and Pension Credit has been less than 3 per cent, therefore not keeping pace with the cost of living. It's not just about making the choice to Heat or Eat.

"My house requires urgent repairs (roof leaks, pointing and painting etc) which I can't afford. I've not had a holiday for over 15 years.

"A few years ago I spent over a month in ICU with flu and pneumonia due to lack of heating.

"I can't afford the current Electric and Gas prices, I don't know what I will do after the April 2022 Electric and Gas price increases and as for the October 2022 increases, well with my health problems and low income I might not be around that long, Energy Companies are only interested in you paying the bills they send you.

"If you are late in paying they first add a £10 late payment fee to your account. Then if you don't pay your account in full they send one of their staff out to collect the overdue amount and add a £20 debt collection fee for their first visit and a £55 debt collection fee for their second visit.

"It's affecting people's Mental Health and Physical Health. This cannot go on a solution has to be found now."

Peter Harvey said: "In the North West we have seen a 91-year-old man die in an explosion, it is believed he bought a portable gas heater to keep warm, how many are we going to see die of cold or gas explosions by the next winter."

Fed Up Pedestrian said: "A gas plant and a wind farm on our doorstep and I will be going cold this winter from today can't afford the heating on."

Janet Moore said: "I remember when the poll tax arrived, rates up from £15 a month to £60 for us, loads refused to pay ended up in court - they don't care, they just had a pay increase."