The number of people seeking advice over fuel bills has risen sevenfold over the last four years amid soaring energy costs.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by Barnsbury councillor Praful Nargund has revealed that 73 people in Islington got in touch with Citizens Advice about energy costs last year.

The year before, fewer than half that number (34) contacted the charity asking for advice because they were struggling to pay their energy bills, and only 10 people did in 2018.

Cllr Nargund claims the findings show the extent to which the Government is “failing to act” effectively in tackling fuel poverty.

His comments come after BBC News reported that nationwide, a total of 46,431 people with energy debts contacted Citizens Advice for help in the first six months of this year.

Households can expect to pay an average of £1,923 a year from October after Ofgem dropped the price cap from £2,074 in the previous quarter.

But Gillian Cooper of Citizens Advice says the number struggling with paying their energy bills is likely to be “as bad, if not worse” than last year.

Cllr Nargund has now called on the Government to do more to help those struggling.

He said: “The data I’ve obtained from Citizens Advice on Islington shines a light on the extent to which the Government is failing to act on the fuel poverty crisis.

“Government data shows that there are over 10,000 households living in fuel poverty in the Borough of Islington.

“This pressure on bills is going to have a damaging impact on people’s lives in Islington as across the country.

He added: “Many are going into debt to pay for the basics.

“I am calling on Government ministers to help people now, before autumn and winter when bills start to soar, and make homes more energy efficient.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was more optimistic about energy costs following last week's announcement that regulator Ofgem was lowering the energy price cap.

He told the BBC on Friday (August 25): “Actually, today is really good news for families up and down the country with a reduction in the energy price cap that’s going to reduce, on average, a typical family’s energy bill by about £150, easing the burden on the cost of living.”

Citizens Advice’s data covers those reporting financial detriment from energy bills or the need to disconnect due to high costs.