Number of households struggling with energy bills 'set to increase'

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The amount of consumers in the UK struggling to cope with the cost of energy is set to rise in the next year, according to a new study.

Research by the National Housing Federation has found that 25 per cent of the UK could be in fuel poverty by the end of 2009, with the figure representing a 100 per cent increase since 2005.

It is believed that the price of gas and electricity is set to rise to over £900 and £500 respectively by 2010.

The body's director of campaigns and neighbourhoods, Ruth Davison, said that the study showed the UK's "full scale national energy crisis".

"Britain is virtually unique in Europe in that our energy suppliers have been privatised and deregulated," she explained.

"The promise at the time of deregulation was that prices would fall. This has palpably not happened. So, it is now time for ministers to regulate the market."

Industry watchdog energywatch recently called for the government to work with regulators on measures to help those using prepayment meters.

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