The average Brit would not be able to afford any more hikes in energy bills, following claims that energy bills could soar as much as 40% before 2009.

86% of those surveyed by moneysupermarket.com said that they would not be able to afford any increases, and 40% admit that the credit crunch has already left them feeling stretched.

Paul Schofield, head of utilities at the site, said: “At a time when people are tightening their belts the prospect of energy price hikes is a daunting one – especially as only one in seven of us could afford more expensive bills.”