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Concern about fuel poverty among the over 60s

21 May, 2013

StepChange Debt Charity has said it is very concerned that so many of those seeking its help over the age of 60 are in fuel poverty. Forty one percent of those aged 60 and over seeking its help last year were in fuel poverty, where they were spending more than ten percent of their monthly net income on fuel payments. 

This is much higher than the average for those seeking help from the charity, where a quarter (26 percent) are in fuel poverty.

Not only are those who are seeking help from the charity aged 60 and over spending a higher proportion of their income on energy bills, they also owe more on gas and electricity bills than younger age groups.  

Gas arrears

  • The charity’s clients aged 60 and over owed an overage of £684 on their gas bills, compared to £455 for clients overall
  • The amount owed by the charity’s clients aged 60 and over on their gas bills has risen dramatically since 2009, when it was only £381

Electricity arrears

  • The charity’s clients aged 60 and over owed an overage of £568 on their electricity bills, compared to £488 for clients overall 
  • The amount owed by the charity’s clients aged 60 and over on their electricity bills has risen since 2009, when it was £431

Commenting on the figures, Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director at StepChange Debt Charity, said: 

“These figures are very worrying as staying warm is particularly important as you get older.

“I am very concerned that this would lead many older people to not heat their homes when they really need to.”

In order to ensure that people aren’t paying more for their energy bills than they need to, StepChange Debt Charity has a free utility switching service.

Contact the the StepChange news team on:

Tel: 0207 391 4598

Mobile: 07950 469 101

Email: press@stepchange.org

Follow our press team on Twitter: @StepChange

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