Extra support needed urgently this winter in wake of energy price cap rise
We respond to Ofgem confirming new energy price cap for October 2022 will be an average of £3,549 per year.
Our Chief Executive, Carole Easton, warns 10,000 people die from cold homes each year and inaction on the issue will put thousands more lives at risk.
The Centre for Ageing Better is calling for urgent financial support from the government for households facing significant rises in their energy bills this autumn.
National energy regulator Ofgem confirmed this morning that the new energy price cap from October will be an average of £3,549 per year.
Ofgem have approved an 80% rise on the current figure of £1,971 for the average dual-fuel tariff. The cap will be almost treble what it was a year earlier when the regulator set the figure at £1,277.
In response to the news, Ageing Better’s Chief Executive Carole Easton is calling for:
- A significant increase in the amount of financial support available to people this winter
- A national retrofit programme to ensure UK population is not put at same risk next year
- Support for older people who could be hardest hit by the imminent increase in energy bills
Older people will be especially hit hard by this rise with:
- 29% older households in England already 'fuel-stressed' (spending more than 10% of their post-tax income on energy bills to stay warm)
- A couple over 60 living in a home with the lowest EPC rating (G) can expect their average bill to almost double under the new energy price cap from £4,771 to £8,671, according to E3G analysis of English Housing Survey data including modelled impact of price caps
- UK households with older occupants spend around twice as much on energy as younger households and were twice as likely to be living in draughty homes
- The majority of older people are already cutting back on gas and electricity use in their homes, more than any other age group (59% for 65-74 year olds compared to 47% 25-34 year olds)
Carole Easton, Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, said:
“The threat of dizzying increases in energy bills has been looming for months, with today’s announcement confirming many people’s worst fears. Millions now face a long, cold and dangerous winter. Already around 10,000 people die a year because their homes are too cold. There is a clear and present danger that this number will rise significantly this winter without drastic measures.
“Immediate financial support is necessary. Three in ten older households in England with at least one person aged 60 or over are already fuel-stressed before these impending increases. And over 65s are most likely to already be cutting back on gas and electricity. Further rationing will lead to significant negative impacts on their health.
“We also need government to take proactive and sustainable steps to ensure we do not face a crisis on this scale in another year’s time.
“UK homes are among the least energy efficient in Western Europe and the financial support government currently provides to homeowners to do something about this is insufficient. Four in five homes that are the coldest and are occupied by households on below-average incomes don’t even qualify for government support.
“Lack of access to finance for home improvements is a large part of the problem, but our research shows people need practical support too. We need a national retrofit programme to make homes more energy efficient as part of a broader move to improve people’s homes. This should be supported by a network of ‘Good Home Agencies’ across the country to provide advice, access to finance and practical support.”