This could add another £629 a year to a typical bill, on top of Friday’s unprecedented £700-a-year rise, says energy consultancy Cornwall Insight.

The expected rise in bills just as colder weather kicks in has prompted calls for fresh government support to those struggling to pay.

Energy prices have been affected by the Ukraine war and pressure on suppliers.

The most up-to-date prediction from Cornwall Insight would, if accurate, push annual energy bills for a household using a typical amount of gas and electricity to up to £2,600 from October.

A typical bill is expected to fall back to the current level in summer 2023, although longer-term forecasts are tricky.

Bill Bullen, the boss of Utilita, warned that elderly people and children were at serious risk over the next winter because of a lack of heating.

We are going to see an extra £500 or £600 added to bills in October, and frankly the chancellor’s going to have to fund that entirely for low-income households, he told the BBC.

He won’t be able to afford to take this problem away for everybody… but for customers who can’t respond to that price [increase], that’s where the help needs to be targeted.

Four in 10 bill-payers have been finding it very, or somewhat, difficult to afford their energy costs.

The governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, said the country is facing the biggest single shock from energy prices since the 1970s.

It is the largest increase, by far, in the energy regulator Ofgem’s price cap, since it was introduced.

The cap, set every six months for England. Wales and Scotland, is designed to protect domestic customers from the volatility of wholesale energy prices

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Chris O’Shea, chief executive of Centrica, which owns the UK’s largest supplier British Gas, said his business was supporting struggling customers and was giving grants to those most in need.

The Office for National Statistics said that low earners, renters, parents, people with disabilities, unemployed people and divorcees were least able to afford a bill shock.

The government has said it was taking “decisive action” to help people with the cost of living, including a £200 reduction to energy bills in October – which needs to be paid back in instalments, and a £150 reduction in council tax bills for 80% of billpayers.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour party, branded the government’s response as “pathetic”.

He accused the government of forcing people to choose between heating their homes or eating.

He said that the Labour party would introduce a one-off windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies and use the money to help households struggling to cope with rising energy bills.

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