Energy supplier British Gas has said its prices are likely to rise within the next few weeks, meaning more misery for cash-strapped homeowners.
Speaking to the Commons Energy Select Committee yesterday, British Gas' chief operating officer, Ian Peters, said there would have to be a "fundamental shift" in the commodities market to avoid a price rise.
Energy companies are reacting to big increases in wholesale gas and electricity costs, brought about by events in the Middle East.
Earlier this month, Scottish Power said it would be increasing its gas prices by 19 per cent as of August 1. The company will put up its electricity price by 10 per cent. The likelihood is that other 'big six' suppliers will react, leading to price rises across the board.
Tom Lyon, energy expert at uSwitch.com, said more consumers would now be looking to fix their bills.
He said: "The debate is no longer about what is going to happen to energy prices – it's now about what action consumers intend to take. The spectre of energy bills potentially hitting almost £1,400 a year is just too big to ignore."