A hard-working mum who may die if her home falls below 20C has stockpiled four tonnes of wood at her two-bed terraced house to survive the energy price hikes.
Nyree Clark, 40, has severe idiopathic cold urticaria, a condition that leaves her with painful rashes and breathing difficulties when her skin gets too cold.
In the past her family have had to make frantic calls to paramedics after her airways closed up and she went into a possibly fatal anaphylactic shock.
But after the energy price surged by 54% last winter, Nyree was forced to drop her heating to a “dangerous” level to afford the repayments.
And in preparation for this winter, Nyree says she has been hoarding tonnes of wood in her garden shed – with bills set to climb by 80% when the energy price cap changes in October.
Storing fire wood
Nyree, an NHS health adviser, said: “I refuse to pay more than what I’m paying at the moment, which is £140 a month.
“So we’ve been stockpiling cut-up wood to go in our very old fire, and we’re going to have to keep it running over the winter.
“We’ve ordered six tonnes, and so far we have got four tonnes. We’ve stored it in our shed, and we’ve been ordering a tonne per month.
“It costs about £60 per tonne, and we think we’ll use less than half a tonne per month, so it’s cheaper than gas.
“It’s just to heat the house in the winter, and we’ll be turning everything else off.”
Nyree, from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, said she was “terrified” about what might happen to her if she had a severe reaction to the cold.
She said: “Obviously I’m terrified that it will happen. When it does, my airwaves close up, and I can’t breath. It’s very similar to a severe peanut allergy.
“You have to call the ambulance if you go anaphylactic. It causes a strain on the NHS – and I don’t want to do that.”
A spokesman for Nyree’s supplier Octopus Energy said: “We speak to over 30,000 customers each day and it’s heartbreaking to hear how this fossil fuel crisis is affecting so many people.
“We’re pleased we could offer Ms Clark support from our £15 million financial hardship fund ‘Octo Assist’ and our electric blankets scheme.
“100% of Octopus Energy profits are going to support our customers this year but this won’t be enough, so we urge government to intervene and increase bill support this winter.”