Pensioners’ fuel bills more than double as energy price climbs

 
Ben Southwood
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OVER 65s were last year faced with energy bills more than double those they paid in 2005, according to data out this morning.

The average weekly fuel bill for families of people aged 65 and older was £26.08 in 2012, Saga said, up from £12.87 in 2005 – an increase of 102.6 per cent.

This brought the bills up to 6.6 per cent of over 65s’ weekly disposable income, the figures revealed, from just 4.2 per cent seven years before. For under 50s the average was 3.7 per cent of disposable income in 2012, also well up on 2005’s 2.4 per cent, but due to their higher average disposable incomes – £615.83 in 2012 – energy costs are a more manageable burden.

“Energy prices are continuing to increase and we are still to feel the full effects of the latest price rises so energy costs are likely to put even more of a financial strain on households in 2013,” said Saga director-general Ros Altmann.

“While incomes have gone up in the last seven years, they have not kept pace with energy and fuel costs,” she added.

These accelerating energy costs, combined with relatively slow income growth, are forcing 29 per cent of pensioners to raid savings to make ends meet, Altmann claimed.