With rising energy costs, more than 7million people in Britain worry about heating their homes this winter.

According to Age UK, nearly half of those aged 60 and over worry about keeping warm. Some have to decide whether they want to heat or eat. 

One participant in Age UK’s ‘The Cost of Cold’ report, Chris, 75, said: ‘It’s a simple choice, heat or eat. 

“I have already restricted myself to one area and I sleep in my bed for as long as it is possible. If I cut down any further there won’t be any point in living.’ 

Concerning: More than 7million older people across Britain are worried about heating their homes this winter amid soaring energy bill costs, the charity Age UK said

Concerning: Over 7million people in Britain are anxious about heating their homes this winter, due to high energy costs. This is according to Age UK.

Geraldine (77), a second respondent said that she has arthritis and it’s worse in cold weather. 

“I’ll have to lower my heat now. My back is already protected by gloves, a heat pack and gloves in my leggings.

Christopher said that he had reached the age of 75 and told Age UK, “Quite simply, we will have to turn down heat, rather than using it as much.” 

It’s only available at 16C during the day for about a half hour. Keep your coats and jumpers indoors. Be more comfortable in your bed. Do not be afraid of the cold snaps.

Many older adults are suffering from fuel poverty. The impact of living in a cold house on one’s mental health is obvious.

For those suffering from heart disease, arthritis or respiratory problems, low temperatures are especially dangerous. 

Age UK stated that colds tend to raise blood pressure in all ages, however, older adults can experience an increase in blood pressure for hours. 

Do you worry about how much heating will cost?

Age UK offers free advice to older people at 0800 169 6565.

Age UK can check that you have all financial assistance you need, such as pension credits and Attendance Allowance. 

Suppliers of energy have an obligation to provide support to people who are in financial distress. It is important to contact the supplier to inquire about any available assistance, including an affordable repayment plan. 

This is Money also has a guide for dealing with high energy bills. 

Find out how to help your energy supplier if they have gone under. 

Age UK, which has around 1.4 million older Britons living in fuel poverty is worried that rising costs will cause many more people to suffer over the next few months. 

The Government should intervene, as it has stated that the heating will be limited for some of the least well-off pensioners. 

In its report, 32 per cent of older people said they would be forced to reduce their energy usage due to financial constraints. 

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: ‘As temperatures plummet this winter, millions of vulnerable older people are feeling trapped at home, too scared to go out for fear of catching Covid, and too scared to turn the heating on for fear of racking up a bill they can’t afford.

We cannot allow this situation to continue. People are worried so much about their rising bills, that they have either made their home too cold or cut back on food to meet their needs. 

“Nobody should be forced to choose between heating their home or eating.

‘If the Government does not provide urgent financial support to change this – at a time when new restrictions encouraging us to stay at home seem a distinct possibility – it could mean a tragedy for many older people. Cold has never been more expensive.

Due to increased Omicron Covid-19 variant, many Britons spend more time at home, and some seniors and people with disabilities are using more energy. This is driving up the cost of their electricity, as well. 

Dire situation: One participant in Age UK's 'The Cost of Cold' report, Chris, 75, said, 'It’s a simple choice, heat or eat' and that he had confined himself to one room  to stay warm

Dire situation: One participant in Age UK’s ‘The Cost of Cold’ report, Chris, 75, said, ‘It’s a simple choice, heat or eat’ and that he had confined himself to one room  to stay warm

Age UK wants the Government to provide an additional one-off payment of £50 to everyone eligible for the Cold Weather Payment to help with their energy bills and give people the confidence to stay warm without fretting about money. 

Also, existing Cold Weather payments should be expedited so that arrears can arrive within seven days of a cold spell.

It also wants to see the existing Household Support Fund double to provide £1billion of funding, ‘so that fewer vulnerable households are forced to make the difficult choice between heating and eating during the coldest months.’

Age UK asks the Government for e-protection to provide long term protection from rising energy costs.The law must enshrine the cap on energy prices. 

To protect high energy costs, it also supports the introduction of a social tax in the energy markets. 

Affiliate links may appear in some of the links. We may receive a commission if you click them. This helps to fund This Is Money and keeps it free of charge. Our articles aren’t written for the purpose of promoting products. No commercial affiliation can affect our editorial independence.