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Energy costs continue to impact on budgetsTenants struggling with high rent have another financial enemy - heating costs.

Rising energy charges has seen almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of the population go without heating at some point this winter to keep energy bills under control.

Research from uSwitch.com showed that almost eight in ten (79%) have cut down or rationed their energy usage this winter - an increase from 74% last year, and 45% say that they have gone cold at home this winter due to the high cost of energy.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: "It simply beggars belief that in 2014 people in Britain are going cold because they can't afford to have their heating on. Keeping warm is not a luxury, it's a necessity, and severely rationing energy use can have serious consequences for health and well-being.

The tragic fact is that consumers just aren't coping with the high cost of energy today. The situation is getting worse year on year and far more needs to be done by the Government and suppliers to make affordability a priority and to support consumers in taking the right steps to cut their bills.

Rather than compromising on their health, I would urge consumers to follow the two golden rules to lowering household energy bills. The first is to ensure their home is as energy efficient as possible so that they aren't wasting energy, and the second is to pay as little as possible for what they do use by switching to the cheapest tariff for their needs.