Author: Age Scotland
Published on 15 July 2011 04:30 PM
New figures released by the UK Department Energy and Climate Change show that 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.
Age Scotland Policy Officer Greg McCracken says: "With these new figures showing almost half of those living in fuel poverty are aged over 60, the 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 and bills are set to rise even further to fund new power networks, leaving an increasing number of older people desperately trying to meet the skyrocketing costs.
"Research shows in winter many older people are forced to choose between eating and heating their homes, causing illness and in extreme cases, needless deaths, so it is scandalous that while Scottish homes are amongst the most expensive to heat in Europe, we have just about the most costly energy prices.
"These figures should send a clear warning to both the UK and Scottish Governments that the war against fuel poverty is being lost and action must be urgently taken to prevent a similar increase in the fuel poor numbers next year."