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Cost of heating home rockets £227

Rocketing energy prices have forced the cost of heating a home up by 63% or £227 over the last 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 that 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 £1,334 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 are planning to 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 even during the harshest weather."

Households have been urged to shop around to cut their bills, with a difference of more than £300 between the cheapest and the most expensive energy tariffs.

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