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Cost of heating a home surges by 63%

Rocketing energy prices have forced the cost of heating a home up by 63%, or £227, over the past five years, research has found.

Five years ago, the typical annual cost of heating stood at £360 – but this will escalate to an average of £587 as winter 2012 sets in, according to uSwitch.

The price comparison site said a string of recent price hikes announced by energy companies will add around £40 on to the average household heating bill.

Overall, the typical household energy bill stands at £1334 a year – showing a £515 increase in the space of five years.

The website's research found that last winter, three-quarters of households went without heating at some point to keep their costs down. It predicted that almost nine out of 10 (87%) families will ration their heating this winter.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: "It now costs households a staggering 63% more a year to heat their home than it did five years ago.

"This increase has knocked consumers for six, leaving many fearful of how they will afford to keep warm during the winter months and leading to growing numbers rationing their energy use."

Meanwhile, Energy supplier E.On is to pay back around £1.4 million to around 94,000 customers who were incorrectly charged exit fees or overcharged following price rises, regulator Ofgem has announced.

Ofgem said E.On had also agreed to make an additional payment of around £300,000 to a consumer fund run in partnership with Age UK as a "goodwill gesture".

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