Caravan park residents near Great Yarmouth have been left "worried sick" after being hit with "astronomical" electricity bills. 

People living at Kingfisher Holiday Park, in Burgh Castle, say the site's operator, Island Meadow Parks, is charging them more than double the standard rate of electricity. 

They are paying 53.98p a unit per kilowatt hour (kWh) - but figures from Ofgem show the standard rate for a default tariff is currently 24.5p.

According to residents, many of whom are retired, the charges increased after January 1 - and some have reported bills as high as £1,700 for the first three months of the year. 

Michael Watts, speaking on behalf of residents, said the chalets at Waveney Valley are being charged almost 53p a unit while the caravans at Kingfisher are facing bills of 44p per unit.

He said: "A lot of the residents are worried sick about how they're going to pay.

"It's a total rip-off and they deserve a full explanation from Island Meadow as to how these bills are made up."

He said that one woman, in her 60s, and whose husband is "very ill", was charged £1,700 for January to March.

"She simply can't afford it," he said.

"I'm absolutely appalled."

He said when residents have spoken to site managers they have only been told that the bills "will be going down at some time in the future".

Great Yarmouth Mercury: An electricity bill sent by Island Meadow Parks to a resident of Kingfisher Holiday Park in Burgh Castle.An electricity bill sent by Island Meadow Parks to a resident of Kingfisher Holiday Park in Burgh Castle. (Image: Submitted)

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Richard Lane, 71, who has lived at Waveney Valley for ten years, said: "I was charged £1,500 for three months – but I was in Benidorm for three weeks of that quarter.

"People who live here are pensioners. They’re in tears. They’re outraged."

He also said residents have no access to the meters to read their electricity.

"The meters are at the end of the chalets, outside. We paid £350 to put them on," he said.

A woman who moved to the park 18 months ago said her bill was "astronomical, for a single pensioner".

"The last bill has shocked so many residents. They are afraid they cannot pay it. A lot are pensioners, some on benefits and others with minimal income."

She mentioned a neighbour, a woman on PIP who has an illness and whose meter is saying she's "using £20 electricity a day".

"Another lady was on £10 a day. It's ridiculous.

"I don't know why it can't be just a happy place to live," she added.

A couple who wanted to remain anonymous said they paid £1,400 for three months, double compared to last year's rate.

They said the company gave them "no reason" for the hike in charges.

Island Meadow Parks, which owns and runs the sites, has been contacted for comment.

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An Ofgem spokesperson said: “If a consumer has concerns about the cost of their energy supply, they should speak directly to their site owner or landlord and clarify what the unit rate is, how the bills are calculated and request to see the bills and contract between them and the supplier."

Mr Watts said residents have asked for clarification - but have not been given any answers.

The Ofgem spokesperson continued: "The site owner or landlord must only resell each unit of electricity at the same price at which it was purchased from the authorised supplier.

"Residents can also seek advice and help from Citizens Advice.”

The chalets at Waveney Valley were built in 1972 for oil rig workers and their families.

Pratt Developments took over the site in 2005.

In 2013, residents were told they would have to quit their mobile homes for a month as a result of a council enforcement notice which wanted to see the park returned to holiday use.