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Posted by John King
As many as four million households in England could have fallen into fuel poverty by the end of 2012, new figures have suggested.
The 2012 Annual Report on Fuel Poverty by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said rises in the cost of utilities mean an extra 400,000 more homes may struggle to pay their bills.
It is estimated that 3.9 million households will be spending more than ten per cent of their income on heat and power, the official indicator of fuel poverty.
Although this is less than the 5.5 million recorded in 2009, ministers have said the total is unacceptable.
"Fuel poverty remains a serious national problem and the coalition is absolutely committed to tackling it," said energy and climate change minister Greg Barker.
Audrey Gallacher from Consumer Focus told the Guardian the government's plans are "not sufficient" to tackle to the issue.
Which? recently called upon ministers to put consumers - including heating oil customers - at the heart of any energy industry reforms, making the cost of fuel the top priority instead of the development of green energy alternatives.
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