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The move, the organisation said, would bring energy firms “to the table” and “force them to end this crisis”.

Don’t Pay UK estimates that 70,000 people have signed up so far, thanks to burgeoning local networks in cities like Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

But consumer groups have warned that cancelling direct debits to energy firms may cause more harm than good.

While not illegal, non-payment leaves people at the mercy of their energy companies.