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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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Concerns about Proposed Amendments to the Fair Deal Scheme in Relation to Rental Income

(10 May 2022) Age Action will address the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage on Planning: on the Provision of housing for older people, including Fair Deal on 10 May, where they will advocate for a package of safeguarding measures to be put in place to protect older people living in nursing homes as well as reforms to allow 100% of rental income on the person's primary residence to be disregarded by the HSE under the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Fair Deal).