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The U.K. is one of the world's richest countries, but people are finding it increasingly difficult to pay energy [billing / bills] . Electricity and gas bills could rise fourfold [by / for] the winter. Even people on good salaries are feeling the [pinch / inch] . Lower-paid workers and those who have [attired / retired] may soon be faced with a [stork / stark] choice of heating or eating. Local governments have devised a makeshift [soluble / solution] . They are converting communal areas like libraries into spaces where people can go to stay warm [as / for] free. These are called "heat banks". Money-saving expert Martin Lewis said he is [dumbfounded / founded] by the idea of warm banks in a [disputed / supposedly] wealthy country. The U.K. already has hundreds of food banks for those who [struggles / struggle] to afford to eat.

Britons are already taking [drastic / caustic] measures to [avoid / evade] skyrocketing energy costs. One woman has disconnected her refrigerator and is storing [punishable / perishable] goods in cold water. A man has turned off his [electricity / electric] kettle and is drinking water instead of hot coffee. Last winter, an older lady used her free bus pass to sit on a warm bus all day instead of sitting at home [in / by] the cold. Many people are [furious / spurious] with the government and fossil [fuel / fuelled] companies. Giant oil companies are making record profits, and the government is [recalcitrant / reluctant] to implement a one-off "[windfall / windmill] tax". The U.K.'s National Energy Action group said that each year, around 11,400 deaths are caused by cold weather. They predict this [figuring / figure] will rise further this year.

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