Age Concern provide 4 million for older gas customers

Over 50s charity Age Concern has announced that it will be making record payments to elderly gas customers as part of its Age Concern Energy Services scheme as a result of a particularly harsh winter.

Thanks to the Cold Weather Payment scheme, which offers assistance on heating bills for over 60s on days when temperatures drop below freezing, nearly 200,000 elderly homeowners will be receiving an average 22.88 in financial assistance, with a total of more than 4 million to be paid out nationwide.

The payout more than doubles that of 2008 due to the harshest winter in a decade, with homeowners in many areas experiencing sub-zero temperatures for 52 out of the 90 days monitored by Age Concern and scheme partner E.ON.

Mike Abrey-Bugg, product development manager from Age Concern Energy Services, said: "We are delighted to be able to help out older people across the UK who might be struggling with bills in the current economic climate."

Last week, Age Concern expressed its fear that a current lack of flexibility in over 50s finance options could risk jeopardising the retirement plans of many older consumers.

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