Millions of over-65s will ration energy despite cold weather – survey

Around 2.8 million over-65s are expected to ration their energy usage during the current cold spell out of worry that they cannot afford their energy bills, according to new figures.

New research by Comparethemarket.com has revealed that 23% of over-65s will ration their heating during the coming months to combat rising household bills.

Following recent storms across the UK, almost half of elderly residents surveyed (48%) said they believed that recent cold weather could result in higher energy bills than usual.

The price comparison website said the figures show that 17% of those aged over 65 are concerned that they will not be able to pay their bills from their income or pension alone.

Peter Earl, head of energy at Comparethemarket.com, 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 broad-brush perception risks leaving millions of elderly people out in the cold and overpaying for their energy in silence.”

It also added that over-65s pay “disproportionately over the odds” for energy, with their data highlighting that 2.1 million elderly people are on uncompetitive standard variable tariffs (SVTs).

Mr Earl added: “If the average person aged over 65 on a SVT switched provider, the saving would be more than the annual cost of a TV license.

“For those less comfortable online, switching to a cheaper supplier by phone or post is an option that some may not realise is available.

“The energy market is more competitive than ever before, and there are many cost effective fixed deals available.”

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