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The Cost of Cold

Over a million older households are facing a long, bleak winter.

Soaring energy prices could leave millions of older people unable to make ends meet.

With average bills set to rise by a whopping £693 a year from April – and almost certain to increase further in a few months' time – the support the Chancellor has announced simply does not go far enough.

Unless Rishi Sunak takes further action, many pensioners will face energy bills that are several hundred pounds more than they can afford. We cannot let this happen.

We’re calling on the Chancellor to think again, and protect older people living on low incomes from the energy crisis.

It Doesn't Add Up

We're calling for the Government to take immediate action to provide more financial support for people on low and modest incomes.

What is Age UK calling for?

  • The Government should provide payments of £500 to everyone eligible for the Cold Weather Payment.
  • The Government should double the Council Tax Rebate discretionary fund to £288 million to help those who just miss out on the support available.

What older people are telling us

Read our report here

I’m turning all radiators off in rooms I don’t use. I’m terminally ill and feel the cold but can’t afford the heating.


I have arthritis which is worse when it is cold. I will have to keep my heating low now. Already I wear gloves on my hands and a heat pack inside my leggings to help my back.


Worried about your energy bills? There may be help available.

Worried about your energy bills?

Rising fuel bills are a big concern for many people right now, but there is support available. Before you turn your heating down or off altogether, please call Age UK’s Advice Line to check if you are receiving all the financial help you’re eligible for. Lots of people don’t realise they’re entitled to extra money, which can really help with bills.

For more information call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 678 1602. We’re open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.

Your energy supplier must offer support if you’re struggling with bills or debt. To lighten the burden, you can get in touch with them and ask to go onto an affordable repayment plan.

And remember, your top priority should be keeping warm and well, so please do not put your health at risk by rationing your heating beyond what feels comfortable. Our information guide Winter Wrapped Up has advice on how to stay warm.

What extra money are you entitled to?

Our benefits calculator can show what financial support you might be owed.

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Last updated: May 04 2022

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