Energy prices are set to surge by as much as 10% in the New Year bringing fresh pain to millions of families.
Experts warned households to brace themselves for a rise of up to £115 taking the typical gas and electricity bill to more than £1,300 a year.
A sharp rise in wholesale energy costs up 62% since last December means it's almost certain that prices will go up, with the only question being when.
Meanwhile "green" levies, that account for around half the average bill, are expected to increase to fund Government energy efficiency schemes and a new wave of "clean" power stations.
In what could be a danger sign, two of the country's biggest energy firms have quietly ditched their cheapest deals. EDF Energy replaced its Online Saver 6 product with one that is almost 7% more, while Npower's latest Go Fix tariff is a whopping 18.5% more expensive than its predecessor. Mark Todd, director of the website Energyhelpline.com, had a stark warning.