Almost 3m elderly people turn off heating as ‘they cannot afford energy bills’

New research shows 18% of people over 65 are on ‘uncompetitive’ Standard Variable Tariffs

Festival Net Zero 2021

Around 2.8 million people over the age of 65 are set to ration their energy usage out of worry that they cannot afford their energy bills, according to new research by Compare The Market.

A further 84% think the cost of energy presents a ‘real threat’ to elderly people living in the UK.

Although a minority, 8% of respondents admit that their health suffers because they limit the amount of heating they use during the winter and 17% say they eat less or buy cheaper food to offset the cost of energy bills.

Findings of the research also suggest 18% of people over 65 are on ‘uncompetitive’ Standard Variable Tariffs, equating to 2.1 million elderly people who are currently on more expensive deals.

It said the cost of energy has increased by £106 in the last year – the average energy bill now stands at £1,813, up from £1,706 in 2018.

Peter Earl, Head of Energy at Compare The Market, said: “These findings should make sober reading for policy makers and energy company chiefs alike.

“We hear a lot of commentary about how today’s over 65s are more financially secure than previous generations, but such a broadbrush perception risks leaving millions of elderly people out in the cold and overpaying for their energy in silence.”

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