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Older people fear fuel poverty this winter

2010-11-04 14:56:00

New figures show that large numbers of elderly people are worried about meeting their fuel bills this winter.

A new Age UK charity campaign, Spread the Warmth, claims that 1.7 million households in the UK live in fuel poverty and 40 per cent of over 60s are concerned about being able to pay their central heating bills this winter.

The charity found that cold weather was a huge cause of anguish among older people living on small incomes. Age UK’s director, Michelle Mitchell, said that the Spread the Warmth campaign is simply intended to raise awareness of the problem and reassure older people that help is available for those who struggle to afford to heat their homes.

The charity supports older people in practical areas like the installation of draft excluders and the provision of electric blankets, but also helps them find out what benefits and payments they can claim to help keep themselves warm over winter.

Older people using heating oil to heat their homes can benefit financially by spreading the cost of their heating oil. Companies like CPL Petroleum and Emo Oil offer options to spread payment over many months.

The Team Energy boiler maintenance scheme can also help oil boiler owners to make sure their heating systems are running efficiently, often saving them money in the long run.