More than three in five (62%) over-65s are worried about heating their home, according to Age UK.
The proportion of those who said in January that they are concerned about the cost of heating their home has increased from 43% who expressed such fears when a survey was carried out in December.
Nearly half (45%) of over-65s are worried about having to reduce energy use due to financial concerns, up from 30% in December.
Age UK said a 78-year-old woman told the charity: “I simply cannot cope with even higher bills.”
Another woman, aged 74, said: “If my energy bills increase as much as predicted, despite the help already given, I will not be able to heat my house, eat, feed my little dog, my only companion, and pay my bills without going into further debt as my savings have already been eaten away.”
Age UK said the financial support for older people is nowhere near enough to match the scale of the problem.
It is calling for the 5% rate of VAT to be scrapped from April until at least the end of 2022, and for additional support for older people on the lowest incomes.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Millions of older people across the UK are absolutely dreading the imminent price cap announcement and urgently need reassurance that help is on its way so they can keep their heating on.”
A Government spokesperson said: “We recognise the current cost-of-living pressures, which is why we are taking action to help. This includes providing support schemes worth more than £4.2 billion and extending the Warm Home Discount.
“In addition, our energy price cap remains in place and we’re helping the most vulnerable and low-income households through targeted support over the winter months, including winter fuel payments, cold weather payments, and the Household Support Fund.”
– Age UK commissioned a survey of more than 1,200 people in January 2022 and a survey of 2,000 people in December 2021.