Up to 40% of Irish households could be facing fuel poverty this winter.
New research from the ESRI found 29% are struggling because of high energy costs.
That's up from a previous high of 23% which was recorded in 1995.
Inflation between January and April means households are now paying an extra €21.27 per week on energy.
However, that rises to €38.63 more per week if petrol or diesel are included.
Co-author of the report and ESRI economist Dr Barra Roantree says government can help those most vulnerable.
He's recommending the government extend the fuel allowance, pay a Christmas Bonus style payment to those on lower income this autumn and to couple it with the electricity.