British Gas, one of the UKís leading energy suppliers, is reported to have lost over 100,000 customers to rival energy firms as a result of the recent summer price hikes.
The company recently increased the price of gas by 18% and electricity by 11%, adding an average of £200 to the dual fuel bill. Thousands of frustrated families have now left the energy supplier in search of cheaper tariffs as a result.
However, whilst the leading six energy suppliers have all increased their prices by an average of 20%, it leaves little hope for households which are already struggling.
Many have resorted to extreme measures in order to deal with the winter heating bills. Recent research found that some Brits are cutting back on everyday essentials such as food, as well as rationing their heating.
Fortunately, the recent spell of warm weather has delayed the need for pensioners and families to use their heating. However, as the cold weather kicks in many will soon be feeling the pinch.
The rising cost of energy will push thousands of households into fuel poverty this winter, with pensioners and single parents in the most vulnerable positions.
According to City analysts, British Gas has lost around 100,000 customers since the start of the year, with many suspected of leaving due to the autumn price hikes.
However, City analysts predict that the company will still make a pre-tax profit of £2.3 billion for 2011, a staggering 20% more than the 2010 figure.
Speaking to This is Money, Rebecca Seabury, an Energy Analyst at Inenco, said; ìIím sure there wonít be many tears amongst consumers over these figures.
ëPrice rises announced by British Gas and the other energy companies have put millions of households into fuel poverty.
ìIf the extreme cold weather of last winter is replicated this year then British Gas profits will rise again, but for many it will be a stark choice between eat or heat.î
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