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Families hit by end of fixed-rate tariffs

FAMILIES across Britain braced themselves for another assault on the wallet yesterday as energy firms prepared to end fixed-rate tariffs next month.

Customers of some of the country’s biggest providers, including British Gas and EDF, will be footing up to £136 more each year.

Those campaigning for a cap in prices and an end to winter deaths blamed a “rigged, confusing and inaccessible” energy market and the government’s lack of action.

Fuel Poverty Action spokeswoman Clare Welton told the Star the shock rise was “exacerbated by the government’s insistence that the solution to our national cold homes crisis is to ‘switch,’ instead of addressing the structural issues driving fuel poverty.

“Cold homes kill thousands of vulnerable people in the UK every winter.

“Many of these are people priced out of being able to keep the heating and lights on, while for many others the choice between heating and eating becomes starker with every price rise.

The price jump was first spotted by GoCompare.com, which noted that with eight fixed-rate deals expiring, thousands would be automatically switched to their supplier’s standard rate from September.

It warned that the worst hit could see a rise of nearly 14 per cent in their bill.

“Households in the East Midlands and who are on the EDF Energy Blue + Price Promise August 2015 tariff will be hit the hardest, with a huge £136.59 rise,” said GoCompare.com.

Ms Welton was clear what needs to be done.

“Energy must be run publicly, on a not-for-profit basis,” she said.

Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn plans to renationalise Britain’s largest energy companies, known as the Big Six.

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