The continuous rise in energy bills is reducing the quality of life for some of the poorest households in the UK, according to a trade union.
UNISON said many public service employees are having to limit when they put the heating on to when temperatures drop below freezing or are going to bed early to keep warm.
The rising bills are also causing many workers to make sacrifices like selling family cars and cutting back on small luxuries such as going to the cinema or out for a meal.
Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON said: “The soaring cost of energy is pushing many family budgets over the edge. Low-paid public sector workers are the backbone of our society and the Government should be ashamed that these people are having to make such enormous sacrifices and struggling just to keep warm.
“UNISON questions what the role of the utilities watchdogs are when the poorest in our society cannot heat their homes, while utilities companies continue to rake in massive profits for their shareholders.”
The union claims it gave out £750,000 last year to help individuals who could not meet mortgage repayments or needed money for necessities, such as school uniforms.