Age Scotland reveals 40% of over 50s are in fuel poverty

The energy crisis has left 76% of people over the age of 50 ‘concerned’ about paying their fuel bills, according to Age Scotland. 

The country’s largest charity for older people spoke to over 1000 people aged 50 or over and discovered that four in 10 struggled with fuel poverty throughout the summer.  

Age Scotland says the new findings are ‘incredibly worrying’ and have called for more help to ensure older people do not suffer alone.  

Research that was conducted in partnership with SGN, a British Gas distribution company, shows an increase of almost 30% in the number of people concerned about paying their energy bills.  

Some people say they relied on savings and have started to heat just one room in their house whilst others have admitted to sacrificing essentials such as food or travel.  

These findings have been published in Age Scotland’s Taking the Temperature report, alongside people’s first-hand experiences of not being able to afford their bills in summer.  

Maureen McIntosh, Head of Customer Experience from SGN, includes one example of somebody exclaiming: ‘It was a shock to see my monthly bill go up by 91%. I have dipped into reserve money to pay for this.’ 

Another example includes someone having to ‘delay’ their retirement as they cannot afford to run their homes.  

‘I am now considering having to sell my home to downsize and reduce costs,’ they said.  

Age Scotland’s Chief Executive, Brian Sloan said: ‘This new research paints an incredibly worrying picture of how older people are coping with rising energy costs.’ 

Mr Sloan urges the government to act now as he believes the ‘devastating impact of rising costs’ will hit over the next few months as the weather gets colder and the latest Ofgem price cap increase comes into effect.   

He says: ‘Failing to go further than the future energy price guarantee puts huge numbers of older people and those who are vulnerable at further risk from surging fuel poverty levels, ill health, financial insecurity and falling into unmanageable debt.’ 

Photo by Chris Robert


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