Woman’s energy bills go up from £97 to £535 as she fears she can’t afford bath

A woman said she cannot afford to have a hot bath at the moment as her energy bills increased from £97 to £535.

Josie was shocked to see how much her energy costs had risen since October last year.

The 35-year-old, who is struggling to make ends meet, was horrified to see how much she owed on her EDF smart meter.

She told Chronicle Live: "We're just an ordinary couple living in a completely ordinary mid terraced three bedroom house.

"We don't do anything out of the ordinary that would make our energy consumption any different than anyone else's.

"We are a lot luckier than some people – we know that.

"But it's so dispiriting to cut back and cut back, yet our wages are still disappearing faster every month."

Josie added: "What use are three-minute showers and value groceries when you get hit with bills like this?

"We are cutting back and cutting back until I don't think there's much left to cut back on.

"We both work full-time – we shouldn't have to consider whether we can afford it if one of us fancies a hot bath."

She said she's terrified to see what her bills will be like when winter comes back around.

EDF said the £523 direct is made up of £453 towards ongoing usage and £70 towards the arrears.

A spokeswoman added it was lowered to £306 per month after conversations with Josie.

But EDF warned that may not be enough to cover energy use over the next year with her review due in October.

Josie added: "It's a complete mess and I'm terrified to turn anything on now.

"I've had a breakdown off all available tariffs and the projected cost, and they are all less than they're telling me I have to pay.

"The standard variable is predicted at £302 a month and a fix until May 2024 is £360, so I don't now where the £453 has come from."

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Josie concluded: "There are a couple of more expensive 'full service' tariffs or one including boiler care at over £400 a month.

"But I don't want these and I've not asked for them.

"I just want to be on the cheapest rate available and am happy to pay off the arrears separately."

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