Thousands of households across Colchester and Tendring were in fuel poverty before the country was plunged into a fuel poverty crisis, statistics show.

According to figures from the department for business, energy and industrial strategy, there were 21,631 homes across the Colchester and Tendring areas which were in fuel poverty as far back as 2020.

Specifically, Colchester had 10,465 households in fuel poverty, and Tendring had 11,166 households in fuel poverty.

With the most up-to-date figures currently dating from two years ago, it is feared the number of homes in fuel poverty is now far higher than 21,631.

It is part of a worrying trend for households, with the war in Ukraine having a knock-on effect on the fuel prices as the UK looks to reduce its dependency on Russian oil and gas.

And according to the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, which is a pressure group campaigning for affordable heating and power for households across Britain, the number of people having to choose between heating and eating will only increase following last month's energy price cap rise.

Read more:

• Colchester households may still struggle after tax cut

• Cost of living means Colchester children could face poverty

• Emergency budget needed to tackle cost-of-living crisis, says TUC

April’s 54 per cent increase has meant households who had previously been paying £1,277 per month on gas and electricity bills could now be paying nearly £2,000.
The rise was a record-breaking increase.

With the annual limit on tariffs due to rise again in October, Martin Lord, the director of Citizens Advice Essex, said many people had already done as much as they can to save money on energy bills.

He said: "Shopping around [different energy suppliers] doesn't benefit most people anymore – but what might be beneficial is taking a look at your overall circumstances and seeing if there are ways of increasing your income.

"If people are in debt, they should call our Warm Homes number, 0300 3033 789.

"If you have spoken to your energy company, an emergency voucher top-up might be something you want to explore – the usual gateway for these things is through Citizens Advice."

Citizens Advice Essex leads Citizens Advice services in Southend, Essex County, and Thurrock.