Around 70% of Scots are worried about affording energy bills this year, a new poll has suggested.
Results of the study also claimed many people across the country already feel cold in their own homes because they are limiting usage.
The Survation poll for Advice Direct Scotland said it displays the state of the cost-of-living crisis, with 70% either very worried or quite worried about being able to pay their bills.
Just under two-thirds (65%) of residents said they have already limited their energy use in the past 12 months so they could afford to spend money on other goods or services, including food.
And of those rationing their usage, 29% said they “often” feel cold in their own home as a result and 57% “sometimes” feel cold – a total of 86%.
The findings come after it was announced that April’s energy price cap rise is set to add £693 to average household costs.
The poll – involving 1008 respondents, says concerns about affording bills this year are highest in the Highlands and Islands and central Scotland (both 77%), and highest among 35-to-44 year olds (81%).
Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, said: “This stark poll demonstrates the scale of the cost-of-living crisis in Scotland.
“Thousands of households are already rationing their energy use so that they can afford necessities such as food. And, as a result, many are cold in their own homes.
“The looming energy price hike is causing considerable anxiety, with 70% of Scots worried about affording their bills.
“Our advisers are working hard to provide free, practical advice to consumers across Scotland and in tandem with the Scottish Government we are helping to deliver a £4m support fund.
“Nobody has to suffer alone, and anyone concerned about their energy bills should get in touch with us for expert, practical advice.”