AN estimated 2.8 million pensioners are expected to ration their energy usage during the coming months due to fears they cannot afford their energy bills, a new study states.

Following recent storms across the UK, almost half of elderly residents surveyed (48%) said they believed that recent cold weather could result in higher energy bills than usual. And the study by reveals that 23% of those over the age of 65 will ration their heating during the coming months to combat the anticipated hike.

The price comparison website’s report shows that 17% of those surveyed are concerned that they will not be able to pay their bills from their income or pension alone. Head of energy at, Peter Earl, said: “These findings should make sober reading for policy makers and energy company chiefs alike.

“We hear a lot of commentary about how today’s over-65s are more financially secure than previous generations, but such a broad-brush perception risks leaving millions of elderly people out in the cold and overpaying for their energy in silence.”

The research added that over-65s pay “disproportionately over the odds” for energy, with the data highlighting that 2.1m elderly people are on uncompetitive standard variable tariffs (SVTs).

Earl continued: “If the average person aged over 65 on a SVT switched provider, the saving would be more than the annual cost of a TV license.

“For those less comfortable online, switching to a cheaper supplier by phone or post is an option that some may not realise is available.

“The energy market is more competitive than ever before, and there are many cost-effective fixed deals available.”

The National launched an ethical energy partnership in January to combat fuel poverty, which is thought to affect around 25% of households in Scotland.

This newspaper teamed up with Scottish supplier Together Energy to launch a tariff which generates cash for the cause and draws its power from a renewable source.

So far, £6000 has been raised. To sign up or for more information visit