Thousands of pensioners are at risk this winter- keep warm!

According to statistics, an estimated 31,000 people died during the winter of 2012/2013. The majority were over the age of 75 in England and Wales and result of the cold weather. This news comes following a major price increase by the ‘Big Six’ energy companies which has caused a national fuel poverty crisis. Energy regulator Ofgem has claimed it cannot control the rate at which gas and electricity bills are rising. Andrew Wright, the chief executive of Ofgem said “It's not right for us, as unelected regulators, to change that public policy framework without that mandate of being elected." Age UK has urged the government to provide more funding so that people can insulate their homes. The Green Deal scheme which is currently in place has been criticized for being too hard to understand which has led to a low number of applicants. AGE UK director Caroline Abrahams said: “It should be a cause of national shame that last year’s cold weather claimed so many lives unnecessarily. Excess winter deaths are preventable and today’s figures are a damning indictment of our failure to address the scandal of cold homes in this country. Cold homes are caused by a number of factors including poor insulation and high energy costs, and are a major cause of excess winter deaths Labour claim the rise in energy bills is forcing people to choose between eating and heating.