Today sees the launch of AgeUK's Cold Homes Week. According to their new research, more than a third of older people – 4.1 million individuals over 65 – are worried about the cost of heating their homes this winter. Evidence also shows that the UK’s homes are among the most expensive to heat in Europe. In 2014, the average standard tariff fuel bill was £1,265 compared to £472 in 2004 – a rise of 168 per cent in ten years.
Speaking about the campaign, Age UK’s Caroline Abrahams, said: 'It is virtually impossible for many older people to keep their home as warm as it should be in the winter months. For too many, the struggle to keep adequately warm will have life and death consequences – something we should feel deeply ashamed of in a country as affluent as ours."
No Cold Homes
In November 2015, Turn2us launched our No Cold Homes campaign, with the aim of raising awareness of those struggling with the cost of fuel and the support available to them. Our research showed that one in two working households on low incomes struggle to pay their energy bills. This number increased to almost 70% amongst people with disabilities and 65% for parents; you can read all the statistics from No Cold Homes in our campaigns section.
Turn2us Chief Executive Simon Hopkins commented: ”We are pleased that AgeUK have decided to highlight the struggle that older people have in meeting their energy costs. No one should have to live in a cold home this winter through fear of fuel costs. This fresh research shows that more must be done to support those struggling, and that is why our No Cold Homes campaign was so important.
"We know that this is an issue that affects a wide range of people and many will suffer this winter. It is clear that more needs to be done to help raise awareness of the financial support and other help available to people on low incomes to help them manage their energy and housing costs.
"I would urge anyone concerned with how they, or a relative or friend, are going to be able to afford energy or housing costs to visit our 'No Cold Homes' Find Support section which has links to our Benefits Calculator, Grants Search and information on energy schemes or our section on Help with Housing Costs.”
Cold Homes Week
Cold Homes Week runs from 1-5 February 2016 and is a week of action on fuel poverty and excess winter deaths. You can support the campaign by taking part in AgeUK’s candlelight vigil on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
During Cold Homes Week, Age UK will be calling on the Government to reform its energy efficiency schemes to enable all older people to live in a warm home. Learn more about Cold Homes Week and how you can support on AgeUK’s website.