DON'T FORGET OLDER PEOPLE DURING ENERGY WEEKTuesday 17 January 2012
In recognition of the ‘Big Energy Week’ and predictions of snow falling throughout the UK this week, Saga has accumulated a variety of facts and figures regarding the over 50s’ opinion of energy and keeping warm in winter, and gives advice to older people on ensuring they have the best energy deal from their suppliers.
DON'T FORGET OLDER PEOPLE DURING ENERGY WEEK
Dr Ros Altmann Director-General of Saga said: “With energy bills at record highs and pensioner Winter Fuel payments being cut this year, it is vital to be aware of the needs of older people struggling to keep warm.”
- 87% of over 50s think it is the government’s job – not that of individuals – to help the vulnerable to heat their home
- 90% of people over 50 think the winter fuel allowance is important of whom 2/3 consider it very important
- Only a mere 1% of people over 50 believe pensioners do not need additional help with their heating costs
- Nearly half (46%) of those with a medical condition (half of people of 50) said that extreme weather conditions affect their symptoms
- 64% of over 50s agreed that advance warning of weather conditions and advice on how to cope with them would be useful when faced with winter weather
- Last winter 25,000 pensioners died of cold in this country - these 'excess winter deaths' are shameful and rising fuel costs will exacerbate the problems
Dr Altmann added: “We know from our own research just how much of a burden energy prices are on the finances of those faced with fixed or dwindling incomes, especially older people, of whom 29% are having to raid savings every months in order to make ends meet.”
Saga is calling for fairer prices for all and access for older people to the best deals on or off-line and offers the following tips:
- Don't accept the prices from your old supplier if you can beat them elsewhere – a phonecall is all that it should take to switch
- Look online – or ask a friend or relative to help – to work out the best tariff for your typical energy usage
- Avoid deals sold on the telephone or doorstep which appear to be too good to be true
- Set up direct debit payments to avoid extra ‘admin’ charges and to spread energy costs more evenly
- Review the energy saving measures in your home – check out entitlements for insulation from your council, the Government or energy supplier
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