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Age UK responds to Ofgem's energy price cap rise and package of support from Government to help with higher energy bills

By: Age UK
Published on 03 February 2022 12:30 PM

OFGEM ANNOUNCE ENERGY PRICE CAP WILL INCREASE BY 54% FROM APRIL 2022

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: "On behalf of older people on low and modest incomes we are bitterly disappointed by what we have heard today. With average energy bills now set to rise by a whopping £693 per year - and almost certain to increase further in a few months' time - the support the Chancellor has announced simply does not go far enough. It will still leave many of these pensioners facing energy costs surging by an extra several hundred pounds that they cannot afford to pay. What does the Government expect them to do? Forgo their heating, ration their food or go into debt? These are the only choices that millions of the less fortunate will face, if they have no savings to draw on or family to help them out. 

"Tough and stoical though they typically are, many older people will be badly shaken by the news they are hearing today. There's no doubt it will lead to many more turning their heating down or off altogether, because they will know these price surges and the Chancellor's inadequate response signals a crisis in their personal finances, with no end apparently in sight. The Government must urgently think again and do more to help them."

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Last updated: May 11 2022

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Notes to editors:

[i] Older households are defined as households with at least one person aged 60 or over.

[ii] 2022-23

[iii]Age UK analysis of Living Cost & Food Survey 2019-20. Figures projected to 2022. Spending patterns are assumed to be the same as those in 2019-20. Prices of items are changed in line with ONS inflation output figures for the years to 2021-22, and then by 9-10% to the year 2022-23 for all items except for energy that are increased by the rise in the energy price cap of 54% in April 2022 and an assumed rise of 40% in October 2022. Household income are changed in line with output data (to 2021-22) and then forecast figures (to 2021-22) and then 3.1% for households whose main source of income is benefits and 4.42% for other households (to 2022-23). 

[iv] By poorest older households we are referring to those older households with the lowest household income after-tax (i.e. those in the lowest income decile).

[v] Age UK analysis of Living Cost & Food Survey 2019-20. Figures projected to 2022. Spending patterns are assumed to be the same as those in 2019-20. Prices of items are changed in line with ONS inflation output figures for the years to 2021-22, and then by 9-10% to the year 2022-23 for all items except for energy that are increased by the rise in the energy price cap of 54% in April 2022 and an assumed rise of 40% in October 2022. Household income are changed in line with output data (to 2021-22) and then forecast figures (to 2021-22) and then 3.1% for households whose main source of income is benefits and 4.42% for other households (to 2022-23). 

[vi] Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2022. Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: Household finances. Datasets: 19 November 2021 to 1 April 2022. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/datasets/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritainhouseholdfinances.

[vii] Those in receipt of Pension Credit, which can be backdated for three months and tops up the weekly income of a single pensioner to £182.60 or a pensioner couple to £278.70, (or higher in some circumstances) could also be entitled to the following:

  • A Cold Weather Payment of £25, paid automatically when the average temperature is 0°C or below over seven consecutive days
  • £140 off electricity bill thorough the Warm Home Discount Scheme, if eligible
  • A free TV licence (if also over-75)
  • Free NHS dental treatment and help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital
  • Help with Council Tax
  • Help with rent
  • Cheaper phone and home broadband deals
  • Reduced water bills
  • An extra amount of Pension Credit for some carers worth up to £37.70 a week.

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