You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Over a million pensioners eat just one hot meal a day to afford energy bills

0
Written by:
25/02/2020
More than a million British pensioners survive on one hot meal a day because they’re worried about paying their heating bills.

Research by uSwitch found 1.4 million over 65s with a household income of £30,000 or less eat just one cooked meal a day to stay out of debt.

One in five, or 1.2 million people, struggle to pay their energy bills over the winter months, the survey revealed.

Two in five keep the lights off while in the house at night, while a further two in five can only pay bills if they make spending cutbacks in other areas.

Three quarters admit they have taken some kind of action to reduce their energy bills including keeping internal doors closed, only heating one room at a time and wearing a jumper or coat in bed.

Many of these people could save money on their energy bills by receiving the Winter Fuel Allowance – however, less than one in ten said they received the benefit.

Most over 65s are entitled to the payment and should receive it automatically. People have to claim for it if they do not get benefits or a state pension, or they only get Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Child Benefit, or they get benefits or a state pension but live in Switzerland or an EEA country.

Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at uSwitch, said: “It’s really concerning to discover that so many elderly people are struggling to stay out of debt and keep warm over the winter.

“No one should have to limit how many hot meals they eat every day or keep their homes dark at night because they’re so worried about their energy bills that they’re put off turning the lights on at night.

“If people are meant to be automatically enrolled to receive benefits, it’s really important that they know what they’re entitled to – that way they can check if they don’t think they’ve been receiving the support they’re due.

“It’s also vital to understand that loyalty to energy suppliers will only ever leave people over-paying by hundreds of pounds a year on a poor-value standard variable tariff.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Seven ways to get help with energy bills this winter

We knew today’s announcement was going to be painful, but it’s still a shock to the system. When this kick...

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week