In response to Thursday’s Ofgem energy price cap announcement for 1st January 2024, which is set to increase by around a hundred pounds and is 85% higher than Winter 2020/21, Joanna Elson CBE, Chief Executive of Independent Age said:
“Today’s energy price cap announcement offers little reassurance for older people in financial hardship, with bills still 85% higher than before the energy crisis. We speak to people in later life who are living in one room because they can’t afford to properly heat their home, those who risk falls because they aren’t turning on the lights, and older people who are in thousands of pounds of debt to energy suppliers. They urgently need help.
“With average energy prices having close to doubled in recent years, coupled with rocketing household costs such as water, food and broadband, those on a low income have endured several years of sky-high costs from all angles. Older people in financial hardship are especially vulnerable to sharp price increases, as many are on a fixed income. The extra money simply isn’t there.
“The UK Government needs to announce financial support now to help the most financially vulnerable, including those in later life, get through this winter. After that, we need a long-term solution to protect against the impact of continuing high prices, including energy. Our evidence shows an energy social tariff would offer more stability to older people on a low income and make sure no one is forced to make dangerous choices. This must be something the UK Government consults on.”