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Fears around growing household bills cause elderly to ration heating this winter

As the Met Office warns of plummeting temperatures, a new survey reveals how many British pensioners plan to hold off on turning up their heating dial to cut high winter fuel bills.

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Mrs Fletcher | Staffs

Fears around growing household bills cause elderly to ration heating this winter

As the Met Office warns of plummeting temperatures, a new survey reveals how many British pensioners plan to hold off on turning up their heating dial to cut high winter fuel bills.

The cold snap has finally set in in the UK, and while most households accept additional energy costs around the chilly months, a survey carried out by comparethemarket.com discloses how more than 60 per cent of the country’s senior citizens are feeling the pinch this winter.

The survey of 2,000 people aged 65 and over found that two in five pensioners would cut down on heating as a measure against increased fuel bills during the colder months.  Instead, they are opting for draught excluders and thick curtains in the home or layering up more clothes to keep warm.

Following the sudden shift in temperatures outside, 54 per cent fear their income or pension simply won’t cover the cost of heating their homes. This, combined with additional expenses such as mobility stairlift prices and even food, has led to a fifth of respondents admitting that it is likely they will have to use savings or credit to cover costs in January and over the coming months.

James Padmore, head of energy insurance at comparethemarket.com, has responded to this alarming news: “When it comes to staying warm in winter, nobody should be left out in the cold. It is deeply concerning that, when the temperature drops, so many of the elderly generation are rationing their fuel usage to save money, at the expense of keeping warm.”

Age awareness organisations have reached out to seniors, concerned that they aren’t considering the health risks even a few degrees decrease can have and want to make it clear that there are resources out there for the elderly. Energy UK, for example, can help people manage their fuel usage. Likewise, charities like Independent Age point readers in the right direction of which stairlift to choose on a budget.

James Padmore believes there are simple solutions that seniors can follow to lower the cost of keeping warm this winter, adding; “There are other ways to reduce energy bills apart from turning off the central heating. As the wholesale cost of energy has decreased, many fixed tariffs have also fallen.”

 
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