I'm struggling so much with energy bills I had to sell my dead wife's belongings – I can only afford to heat one room | The Sun

A MAN who was struggling so much with energy bills he had to sell his dead wife's belongings has revealed how he can only afford to heat one room.

Jason Alcock, 51, lost his wife, Paola, to Leukemia in 2018, and has since been forced to sell her possessions to cover his rising bills.

The widower, who suffers from autism, ADHD and bipolar disorder is now fearing the worst after the staggering energy price hike.

Jason lives in Stoke-on-Trent which is among the worst hit by fuel poverty in the UK this winter.

The rocketing cost of energy for British consumers will rise by 80% from October, regulator Ofgem said on Friday – taking the average annual household bill to £3,549. 

As a result, energy bills will rocket 35 times faster than wages and 57 times faster than benefits during the last three months of this year.

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Jason said: "It's crazy. There's absolutely no way people can afford this kind of price rise. I'm shocked by it.

"I thought they would have pulled back on it. I thought we wouldn't have this, what they call 'zombie government' with no-one in charge.

"We're coming up to winter now. When winter starts and people can't put their heating on… I'll be heating one room in my house, but people have got children.

"The area I live in is a pretty low income area and there's a lot of people on the breadline and they are going to suffer."

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The bleak winter ahead will leave many Brits asking if it's justifiable that energy bosses are taking home a staggering £15million, while hard-up households face choosing between heating and eating.

And money expert Martin Lewis described the situation as a “catastrophe that is putting lives at risk” – and claimed people could DIE this winter.

Jason added: "What can you do? I am at the point where I'm trying to buy cheaper stuff but the prices across the board have gone up. I know this is happening, but what can I do?

"I've cancelled my direct debit for both gas and electric because they were saying I should pay something like £300 a month to cover it. So I said screw that, and cancelled it.

"And instead I set up a standing order, and I pay £75 into my electric and £25 into my gas per month, and I know at the end of the year there's going to be a big bill but that's what I can comfortably afford with other cost of living rises like the food shop and that, which has got to come first."

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive officer of Ofgem, said: "We know the massive impact this price cap increase will have on households across Britain.   

"The Government support package is delivering help right now, but it’s clear the new Prime Minister will need to act further to tackle the impact of the price rises that are coming in October and next year."

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Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said it would cause stress and anxiety for people but insisted the Government was working to support them. 

And Mr Zahawi warned that Brits earning £45k a year will need help with energy bills, not just those on benefits.

How to save on your energy bills

SWITCHING energy providers can sound like a hassle – but fortunately it’s pretty straight forward to change supplier – and save lots of cash.

Shop around – If you're on an SVT deal you are likely throwing away up to £250 a year. Use a comparion site such as MoneySuperMarket.com, uSwitch or EnergyHelpline.com to see what deals are available to you.

The cheapest deals are usually found online and are fixed deals – meaning you'll pay a fixed amount usually for 12 months.

Switch – When you've found one, all you have to do is contact the new supplier.

It helps to have the following information – which you can find on your bill –  to hand to give the new supplier.

  • Your postcode
  • Name of your existing supplier
  • Name of your existing deal and how much you pay
  • An up-to-date meter reading

It will then notify your current supplier and begin the switch.

It should take no longer than three weeks to complete the switch and your supply won't be interrupted in that time.

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