I'm a mum of four – I'm already £600 in debt to my energy firm, it's ridiculous | The Sun

MUM-of-four Victoria Beck from Leeds is already in debt to her energy supplier and is dreading the winter.

The 35-year-old is currently on maternity leave from her £30,000-a-year job in recruitment and lives with baby Nyah, two months, and daughters Callie, 8, Thandie, 10, and Daisy, 13.

The family’s energy payments have more than doubled from £108 per month at the start of the year to £265 per month now.

Her annual bills will rise to £2,680 and the increase will push her further into the red.

She says: “It’s sickening that the energy companies are still making massive profits and their bosses are taking home huge salaries.

“It’s hard enough coping with the bills rising, but that just makes me feel even worse.”

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They are one of millions of families worried about soaring bills. 

Today, energy analysts revealed bills could hit £5,300 next year. 

Yesterday, The Sun revealed how fatcat bosses will earn £15million as Brits choose between heating and eating. 

Victoria is £600 in debt to her supplier, but because she couldn’t afford the increase, it has reduced her payments to £212 per month.

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Bill help

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This means she’s barely covering the amount of energy the family is using and is likely to sink even further into the red over the winter.

“I already run around like a madwoman switching everything off at the socket. 

“I’m constantly checking the smart meter – it’s ridiculous.”

“We’ve been eating cold food all summer and I’ll just have a glass of water now when I would have had a cup of tea.

“I don’t know what else I can do.

“We’ll have to layer up in jumpers and blankets when it gets cold.

“We’ve not felt the full impact yet, but in a couple of months’ time it’s going to be an absolute nightmare.”

Diesel is a major expense for Victoria as she drives daughters Thandie and Callie up and down the country to gymnastics competitions.

Thandie is already one of the country’s top gymnasts for her age group and hopes one day to compete for Team GB, while Callie is also showing strong potential.

Her fuel costs have almost doubled from around £40 a week to £70 now since prices at the pump surged.

Victoria says: “I don’t want my girls to miss out on the chance to pursue their ambitions, so we’ll have to make other sacrifices.”

“With my Aldi shop, I’ve had to cut back but I’m still spending more than I was and getting less food.”

She added: “I never buy anything for myself -all my money goes on looking after the girls.”

“Normally I refuse to put the heating on until October, but this year I don’t know how we’ll manage.

“I never use a hairdryer and won’t touch the tumble dryer.

Widow and mum-of-three Louise Parker says it’s “obscene” that energy fat cats are pocketing huge bonuses while she works three jobs to cover her soaring bills.

Energy bill help if you're struggling

There are schemes offered by suppliers, local councils, charities and the government that could help.

If you're struggling with energy costs or other bills there are plenty of organisations where you can seek advice for free, including:

  • National Debtline – 0808 808 4000
  • Step Change – 0800 138 1111
  • Citizens Advice – 0808 800 9060

You should speak to your energy supplier in the first instance as they have schemes in place to help with bills and arrears, including hardship funds and grants.

Your local council may also be able to help with cash and grants if you are struggling with bills through the Household Support Scheme.

Every household will start to benefit from a £400 energy bill discount from October onwards.

You might get an extra payment too if you're on benefits or disabled.

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