Author: Age Cymru
Published on 29 October 2013 11:00 AM
The heads of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies are due to give evidence today to the UK Government’s Energy and Climate Change Committee about recent price rises.
Speaking before the meeting, Age Cymru’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs Graeme Francis says:
“As energy prices and the cost of living continues to rise there doesn’t appear to be any letting up of the pressure on our incomes and older people in Wales are definitely feeling the pinch.
“Recent research we carried out showed that 61% of Welsh over 65s are worried about the increasing cost of energy bills, and 40% of them are also concerned about staying warm in their homes this winter.
“Staying warm and eating healthily are very important, particularly during the cold winter months, and we’ve probably all heard of the ‘heating or eating’ dilemma that many older people face.
“But money worries do appear to be getting worse and last winter we know that older people in Wales were more likely to cut back on both their heating and their eating than those living anywhere else in the UK.
“Age Cymru is particularly concerned about the plight of the hundreds of thousands of older people in Wales who are living in fuel poverty - this is the term we use to describe a household that spends 10 % or more of its income on heating.
“Fuel poverty is widely accepted as a contributory factor in the 1,600 excess winter deaths we’ve seen on average in Wales over the last decade.
“We urgently need action from government, from the energy companies and the energy regulator to make sure that we’re all able to keep warm when the temperatures begin to drop.”