Campaigners warn PM that 9m families could be in fuel poverty by 2016

Prime Minister David Cameron has received a letter from campaigners urging more action on fuel poverty.

More than a hundred representatives from energy firms, charities and other groups wrote to the PM demanding action on a matter they described as a 'national disgrace'.

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With the country barraged by snow for the last week, the Energy Bill Revolution campaigners, including power companies E.On and Npower and charities including Age Concern and Macmillan, issued a renewed warning to Mr Cameron on the dangers of fuel poverty.

The letter described how six million families currently spent more than ten per cent of their household income on heating - enough to be classed as in fuel poverty

However, the warning added that this could go up by a third - to nine million by 2016, unless greater action was taken in regards to energy efficiency.

The group warned that despite Government schemes like the Warm Home Discount Scheme being in place to support the most needy in the country, not enough was being done to tackle soaring energy bills.

Money raised from a carbon tax could be used to insulate houses across the country that are currently losing heat through roofs and walls according to the group.

Speaking to The Times, Energy Bill Revolution campaign director,Ed Matthew, said: "The suffering caused by high energy bills is turning into a national crisis. The Government can do far more.

"There is enough carbon revenue to fund an insulation programme which is five times bigger. It could end fuel poverty and ensure all homes are super-insulated."

Last year, five of the 'Big Six' hit customers with an energy bill price hike. E.On kept its prices the same, as it had promised to do, before bumping up its duel fuel bill prices by 8.7% last week.

What is fuel poverty?

Fuel poverty is defined as when a household spends more than 10% of its total income on fuel use, which includes heating, hot water, lighting and the use of appliances.

In the UK, an adequately heated home has a living room temperature of 21°C and a temperature of no less than 18°C in other occupied rooms, with lower temperatures at night.

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Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

Les Roberts - Energy Expert at UKPower

If you’ve got an issue with your energy supplier, our consumer champion Les is on hand to help. A decade in consumer affairs means Les understands how confusing energy tariffs can be, so he'll cut through the jargon to help make sure you get the best deal.