A South London crematorium is having to put aside almost £70,000 for bills as energy prices are set to rise again this winter.

It comes as the North East Surrey Crematorium has seen an increase in cremations, which could be down to people choosing the cheaper service as the cost of living crisis bites.

The crematorium in Morden has budgeted £67,000 for energy costs in 2022/23. 

This compares to the £43,272 spent at the end of 2021/22.

Its current financial forecast shows an end-of-year surplus of £500,000 part of which would go towards a cremator replacement.

Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth councils, which provide the service, also get a payout of £500,000 shared between the three authorities.

But uncertainty around the increasing price of gas could mean this source of income is lost.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Labour Wandsworth councillor, Annamarie Critchard, said: “If there is a problem, the money coming into all the councils will drop as a source of income.”

Treasurer Mark Davies said: “If costs increase to a point where we can’t maintain the distribution the only thing that can give is that level of distribution to the councils.”

In January 2022, crematorium fees went up £25 from £605, a move which was expected to bring in an extra income of around £45,000 a year.

This compares to Croydon Council’s £923 cost and £800 in Lambeth.

The creamatorium’s surveyor, Chris Andrews, said last month saw a sharp increase in cremations, which could be due to cost.

He said: “I got the figures from August and I was quite taken aback with the number of cremations.

"There was 185, that is more than the Covid year and more than the preceding four years. 

“I can’t say with any justification that it is because of Covid but I can say is how cost-effective North East Surrey is in terms of creations.

"With the cost of living, people will look at the most cost-effective.

"When you look at our neighbours North East Surrey is the least expensive and if you compare us to the private sector there is a £5-600 difference.”