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Age Action calls for Government Strategy on Energy Poverty

Published 15/03/2022

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(15 March 2022) Reacting to Bord Gáis Energy’s announced price increase of 39% for gas and 27% for electricity, Age Action’s Senior Public Affairs and Policy Specialist, Nat O’Connor, said “Many older persons will be unable to afford this price increase, meaning that people will be unable to heat their homes adequately unless they are given extra support. Many older people need to keep their homes extra warm for health reasons.”

Nat O’Connor continued, “Recent increases to the Fuel Allowance and the €200 energy credit are welcome measures, but not everyone who needs them receives them. The Government is on the back foot on this issue as the national energy poverty strategy lapsed in 2019 and has not been renewed. Age Action has called for a comprehensive, new energy poverty strategy.”

“This price increase comes on the back of the difficulties caused to older persons by last year’s price increases by almost all suppliers. All indications are that recent price increases are not temporary, not least because of the move to a low-carbon economy. Many older persons live in poorly insulated houses and cannot afford to retrofit them, even with available grant schemes so they can’t avoid higher energy bills. Only a third of older persons receives the Fuel Allowance, and many others on low incomes are not eligible. We need more older persons to be included in this safety net.” said O’Connor.

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Budget Emergency Measures Protect Older Persons This Winter But €12 Increase in the State Pension is a Cut in Spending Power

(Tuesday 27 September 2022) Age Action welcomes emergency measures in Budget 2023 to help older persons cope with the cost of living this winter. The announced double pension payments and the electricity credits are a welcome recognition by the Government that many older persons are struggling with basic costs like food, energy and running a car in rural Ireland. In addition, lump sum payments for those living alone or in receipt of Fuel Allowance will target those who are most at risk of poverty.