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18.01.13

Age UK calls for support for rural elderly

1.5 million elderly people living in rural areas are struggling to heat their homes, Age UK has warned.

This is due to the rising cost of heating oil. Last month, prices were 14% higher than in the previous December, forcing many people to cut back on the cost of fuel, the charity reported.

Around 1.5 million people over 65 living in rural areas of England are reliant on oil.

Age UK has called for the Government to prioritise people in ‘off-grid’ areas a priority for measures to make homes more energy efficient.

Michelle Mitchell, the charity’s director general, said: “These people are the forgotten face of fuel poverty in the UK. While electricity and gas prices get a lot of media and Government attention, the cost of fuel oil rarely makes the news.

“Yet many of the people who use it are among the poorest and most vulnerable in the country and will be struggling to pay to keep warm as the temperatures plunge to arctic depths this week.”

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