Energy Price Rise: A Response
On 3 February, Ofgem announced a rise in the energy price cap for England, Wales and Scotland. From April 2022, the price cap will rise to £1,971, meaning many households will face an annual increase of more than £693 on their energy bills.
We are severely concerned about the effect today’s announcement will have on older people in Wales who are already struggling to pay their fuel bills, and the many more who will now face worry and difficult challenges when it comes to heating their homes.
More than 1 in 10 households were already living in fuel poverty in Wales before this crisis. The price cap announced today only makes things worse for those who are struggling to pay their bills and will push many thousands more into fuel poverty in Wales.
At Care & Repair, we are seeing clients who are changing their heating habits out of fear or going into energy debt and not being able to pay their bills. Wales has some of the oldest housing stock in Europe, and with it comes cold, leaky, damp homes that are hard to heat and even harder to keep the heat in. Self-disconnection or self-rationing energy use out of fear of what bill might come through the letter box has detrimental effects on health and will lead to increased hospital admissions at a time when the Welsh NHS is already under immense pressure. Some older people in Wales will die because of this crisis. We cannot stand for this.
"...we call on the Welsh Government to extend the Winter Fuel Support Scheme to include older people on pension credit."
As an immediate action, we call on the Welsh Government to extend the Winter Fuel Support Scheme to include older people on pension credit. Longer term, Wales needs a large-scale public information campaign to signpost people to services like Care & Repair’s 70+ Cymru that can help.
Care & Repair are doing all we can to support Wales’ oldest and most vulnerable people to heat their homes via our 70+ Cymru service, hardship funds and casework teams.
Our 70+ Cymru service is a Wales-wide project tackling fuel poverty amongst older people. The service improves the warmth, comfort, and quality of life for older by providing advice and support on home energy saving techniques and housing improvements. Find out more about 70+ Cymru here.
Jack Bentley, PR & Marketing Officer
02920 107 589 | [email protected]