Landlords and homeowners are being warned that winter fuel bills may be higher than expected.

Consumer website uSwitch.com said that consumers "could be in for a nasty shock"in 2010.

Suppliers have reduced fuel prices, but bills are still higher than at the start of 2008, it claimed.

Landlords and other consumers could consider switching to online billing, which may save them hundreds of pounds per year.

Energy expert Will Marples said: "Rather than sitting back and hoping for further reductions we can all give ourselves a substantial price cut on our energy bills today."

He advises moving to dual fuel, switching to online billing and paying by direct debit to save consumers money.

Some 42 per cent of the average yearly energy bill results from household heating, the website claimed.

Price cuts from providers reduced bills by a "disappointing"average of four per cent, it explained.

The UK's Energy Saving Trust advises those wanting to cut fuel bills to turn down thermostats, close curtains at night to keep heat in and not to leave appliances on standby.

Written by Claire DoyleADNFCR-2002-ID-19526029-ADNFCR

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