I’m terrified about energy bills – I travel on the bus all day instead of staying home to avoid putting heating on

A PENSIONER is terrified about the rising cost of energy bills so much she travels on the bus all day to avoid turning the heating on at home.

Millions of Brits are facing eye-watering hikes to energy bills, with households having to stump up around £700 more a year from April.

It's meant families are desperately scrabbling to save cash on their bills, with many unable to afford the price rises.

One pensioner is so concerned about the price rises, she travels on the bus with her dog all day as a cheaper way to keep warm, according to charity Age UK.

Its chief executive for North Yorkshire and Darlington told the Mirror how older Brits are going to desperate measures to avoid the rising bills.

She said: "She is an elderly lady in Harrogate which is a really affluent area and yet she sits on a bus all day to keep her bills down.

"She is entitled to the Warm Home discount but this has remained at the same rate for years and does not go far enough to help with extra costs.

"She has illnesses that are made worse by the cold and is at greater risk of deteriorating health."

The charity estimated that nearly a quarter of all older households in England will be in "fuel stress" when price hikes happen in April.

Households are in fuel stress if they spend more than 10% of their income on energy bills.

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That could rise to a third when the price cap will most likely go up again in October.

Pensioners aren't the only ones struggling to afford energy bills.

One family said they have to decide between heating and eating because of rocketing bills.

While a former NHS worker said her home is so cold it's "like sleeping outside" as she can't afford to put the heating on.

What help is available if I'm struggling to pay my energy bills?

There is help available if you can't pay for rising energy costs.

Contact your energy supplier first – they may be able to change your payment plan or check if you're eligible for their hardship fund.

For example, British Gas and Octopus have both set up funds to help customers who are struggling with their bills.

Check that you're getting all the benefits you're entitled to.

Use an online benefits calculator to make sure you're not missing out on any extra cash.

Make sure to search for grants that can help you pay for gas and electricity bills.

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There are government schemes available to help households pay for energy costs.

You might be eligible for the winter fuel allowance or cold weather payment if you already get other benefits.

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