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Pensioner stops showering to save money on energy bills amid soaring costs



A pensioner has been forced to stop showering to save money amid rising energy costs.

Martin Lewis’ team estimated the price of the cheapest energy deals surged by 40% over the course of 2021 as regulator Ofgem sanctioned an increase to the price cap last October.

One pensioner told leading charity Age UK that the price hike has forced her to choose between heating and eating.

READ MORE: State Pension during retirement and how many years you’ll have to work first

The 69-year-old said: “I am currently in bed keeping warm today as it’s so cold and I can’t afford to have my heating on for the whole day.

“I’m reduced to showering on alternate days, which I hate, and I’m eating food that’s microwaveable to avoid heating my oven.”

Experts predict the energy cost could rise by a further 51% in April due to surging wholesale gas prices – and Age UK’s charity director warned pensioners will struggle to cope with the hike.

Caroline Abrahams said: “Many older people are reliant on the state pension as their main source of income and simply do not have the flex in their finances to cope with such enormous price rises.

“At Age UK, we are being contacted every day by desperate older people in this position, people for whom there are only ‘bad choices’ – ration your energy use, cut back on food or other essentials, or go into debt.”

A survey conducted by charity Age UK found nearly a quarter (24%) of over-65s fear they will need to choose between heating their home and buying food if energy bills increase substantially.

The charity also found more than half (54%) of those surveyed would have to heat their home less – and just over two-fifths (43%) said they would have to cut back, go into debt or simply will not be able to afford to pay their bill.

Age UK warned many older people are missing out on vital support such as Cold Weather Payments and the Warm Home Discount Scheme because they are not receiving Pension Credit, despite being eligible.

It said many older people on low incomes are unaware that they qualify for Pension Credit, and that a successful claim opens the door to a wide range of other support, including help with energy bills.

As part of its campaign The Cost Of Cold, Age UK is urging any older person on a low or modest income who is struggling with their bills to have a full benefits check.

Ms Abrahams added: “Any older person who is finding it difficult to pay their bills, or who is worried about staying warm, can call us today – if we help you to submit a successful claim it could make all the difference.

“There really is no downside to checking you are receiving everything you are entitled to, so please come forward and let us help you make sure.”

People can call the charity’s advice line on freephone 0800 169 65 65, contact their local Age UK office, or visit www.ageuk.org.uk.

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