The number of people living in fuel poverty in Bradford is continuing to rise, a charity has warned.

The EnergyWise project will hold an awareness day on Friday to help those who are struggling to pay fuel bills.

Those in need will be able to see a “bills doctor”, while getting advice on switching tariffs, energy efficiency and grants at the event held at Canterbury Advice Centre in Ringwood Road between 1pm and 4pm.

Sarfaraz Ahmad, energy efficiency adviser for the charity, said: “In the last six months I have seen a lot of families in crisis. There are people in our city who sometimes have to make a choice between heating or eating.

“We had an arctic winter last year that caused a lot of preventable deaths and added misery to the lives of thousands of people living in Bradford.”

Fuel poverty is defined as having to spend more than ten per cent of income on fuel.

In May this year the Telegraph & Argus reported how the Bradford Joint Needs Assessment, published last year by Bradford Observatory, Bradford Council and NHS Bradford and Airedale, said according to National Energy Action estimates, 55,000 people in Bradford could be living in fuel poverty.

Mr Ahmad said that estimated figure would have risen as energy companies continued to put up prices.

He said: “Pensioners are the most affected group in winter months. A lot of pensioners will not be with us in the next three months’ time because they cannot heat their homes.

"We need to let them know that there are social tariffs and they don’t have to pay as much on their bills. We have got ways and means of helping them.

“The national statistics have shown an increase in the last year on year, so I would just guess when we were talking about 55,000, that can only have gone up.”

Bradford Council leader Ian Greenwood is expected to attend the event and pick a raffle winner, who will receive a new energy efficient fridge-freezer.

Sarah Lala, operations manager for the centre, will also be making a speech about the problem of fuel poverty.