Nearly one third of households in the UK will face poverty this winter after paying energy bills that are set to soar again in January, campaigners say, the media reported.
About 10.5 million households will be in fuel poverty for the first three months of next year, according to estimates from the End Fuel Poverty Coalition (EFPC) published on Tuesday -- meaning that their income after paying for energy will fall below the poverty line, the CNN reported.
The UK government defines poverty as household income of less than 60 per cent of the UK median, which stood at 31,000 pounds ($37,500) in 2021, according to official statistics, CNN reported.
The predictions are based on new estimates from research firm Cornwall Insight, also published Tuesday, which show that the average household energy bill is expected to hit 3,582 pounds ($4,335) a year from October, and 4,266 pounds ($5,163) from January -- equating to about 355 pounds ($430) a month.
January's forecast represents a 116 per cent increase in energy bills from current levels. As fuel prices surge, estimates are having trouble keeping pace. Just last week, Cornwall Insight predicted January's prices would rise by 83 per cent from current levels, CNN reported.
The research firm said it had revised its figures because of a jump in wholesale prices and a change in the way the UK regulator calculates its price cap. But there could be relief on the horizon -- Cornwall Insight expects bills to start falling in the second half of 2023.
Fuel bills started rising last year as a global natural gas supply crunch pushed wholesale prices up to record levels. Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February has only exacerbated the situation, CNN reported.
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