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Third of people 'shocked' by heating bills

A third of people got a nasty shock when they realised their winter energy bill was higher than expected, research shows.

Having used their heating less often over the mild winter, many households were expecting modest bills. But, research from Consumer Focus suggests that 40% of people found their energy bill was even higher than the previous year.

For more than half of customers who pay by cheque or pre-payment meter, their winter energy bills were more expensive than the previous year.

Consumer Focus fears that these increased bills could leave many people struggling financially.

Mike O'Connor, chief executive of the group, said: "With energy price cuts and less heating used because of the mild weather, most people will have expected their winter energy bill to be lower this year.

"So higher winter bills may come as a nasty shock that many customers simply can't afford."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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