Plummeting temperatures and rising energy bills could mean over a million pensioners may not be able to pay their bills this winter, as charities fear a widespread health crisis amongst the UK’s most vulnerable.
According to research uncovered by The Times, approximately 40% of Brits aged 65 and over feared rising energy bills as a result of the recent cold weather, with 11%, or 1.3 million people, saying they would not be able to afford any increase.
Meanwhile, 12% of the population over the age of 65 said that the cold had already effected their health due to the low levels of heat they use and 20% of the same population group had cut down on food bills by not eating as much or purchasing cheaper food in order to be able to afford rising energy bills.
According to Age UK, one elderly person will die every seven minutes from the cold during the winter months. However, pensioners will continue to limit their energy use despite the fact 88% of the group believe cold weather poses a serious threat to their health.
Last year, energy bills rose by 14% (£240) to £1,625 with consumers on default standard tariff paying the most, which approximately 2 million pensioners are on.
While Prime Minister Theresa May introduced legislation in October that will cap energy bills, which Ofgem believe could be installed by Christmas 2018, 56% of respondents believe these will not have an effect on their bills.
Rising energy costs have come under fire from advocates for business groups and household consumers, with green subsidies cited as a major contributing factor to Britain having some of the highest energy bills in Europe.