Soaring energy bills could put elderly at risk of ‘freezing to death’

Charity warns energy costs will push an estimated 150,000 extra older households into fuel poverty this winter

Big Zero Report 2022

Old people could literally freeze to death due to soaring energy prices this winter says Age UK.

The charity estimates around 150,000 extra older households could be plunged into fuel poverty this winter.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Above all, we must ensure that turmoil in the wholesale energy market does not translate into tragedy for any older person this winter.

“In most years it would be hyperbole to suggest there was a risk of older people freezing to death in their own homes, but the risk cannot be completely discounted this year. That’s why we need government action to ensure every older person comes through safe and well.”

The charity warns that the number of fuel poor older households could reach more than 1.1 million by the spring.

Former Pensions Minister Ros Altmann said excess winter deaths among the elderly have averaged tens of thousands each year.

Ms Altmann noted that without more help, the numbers suffering or dying this winter are likely to rise sharply.

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