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Around half fuel poverty homes include person 60+

Published on 14 July 2011 12:30 PM

Just under half (48.5%) of all households in fuel poverty contain one person aged 60 or over

New figures released by Department Energy Climate Change (DECC) today show the number of fuel poor households has increased to 5.5 million for 2009, a rise of 1 million since 2008.  Just under half (48.5%) of all households in fuel poverty contain one person aged 60 or over.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said:

'With new figures showing almost half of people living in fuel poverty are aged over 60, today's eye watering increase in fuel poor households shows this problem continues to hit older people the hardest.

'What's more worrying is this figure only looks set to increase as energy companies announce further double digit per cent price increases, leaving more older people desperately trying to meet rising bills.  Research shows many older people are forced to choose between eating and heating their homes, causing illness and in extreme cases, needless deaths.

'It is astonishing that in the face of this scandalous increase, help for fuel poor households through the Warm Front scheme is being phased out and the promised solutions contained in Green Deal don't come into force until late 2012 - too late for the millions of people struggling to heat their homes this winter.

'These figures should send a clear warning to Government that it is losing the war against fuel poverty and action must be urgently taken to prevent another similar increase next year.  The only sure way to help people manage rising energy costs is to help them properly insulate their homes and reduce their need for energy - especially for households in fuel poverty.'

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Notes to editors

Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.

We provide free information, advice and support to over five million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we").  Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity). 

Media contact: Vicky Smith
Telephone: 020 3033 1438
Out-of-office-hours: 07071 243 243

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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