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Dale Lovell

Utility Bill Increases Place Burden on Over-55s Budgets

Energy costs are placing a burden on the budgets of the over-55s.

New figures show that the average person aged over 55 has experienced price rises fiver percent above inflation and is now £30 a month worse off than they were in September.

The data from Age UK Enterprises, the commercial services arm of charity Age UK, shows that, since January 2008, the average person aged over 55 has experienced price increases at five percent above headline inflation measures.

Gordon Morris, Managing Director, Age UK Enterprises said that the over 55s are now more than £907.20 a year worse off than official inflation measures estimate.

"There is a widening gap between the inflation experienced by the general population and those in later life, and this worsens with age,” he said.

A typical 70-74 year old now experiences ‘real' price rises at 5.3 percent above headline RPI figures.

"The rise in everyday costs is in part due to over 55s spending proportionally more on products and services, such as utilities, that have increased rapidly in price in the last quarter,” continued Morris.

The over-50s looking to cut the cost of their utility bills should consider comparing the price of their energy against those of other providers to find the best deal for their own individual needs. An Energy Monitor service, which checks customer's current tariffs against the whole market on a regular basis will do a lot to cut any excess money you are wasting on energy bills.

SLIM your way to saving money on gas and electricity charges.

S – Survey Carry out an energy survey on your home – you can do it yourself using tools on the energysavingtrust website.

L – Lower Lower your usage – get an energymonitor (it looks like an oversized iphone and tells you what you are using at that moment in time – put on the tumble dryer and see the difference it makes!).

I – Investigate Investigate your Gas and Electricity tariff – make sure you are on the best deal – never rely on what you are told by your power company, a salesman in a supermarket or a person knocking at your door – do your own research. As you would expect the MoneyMaxim comparison service is fully accredited by ConsumerFocus and is totally impartial.

M – Monitor Once you are on the best tariff carry on monitoring it to make sure it remains the best for you – put a note in your diary or on the calendar to review it three or four times a year or sign up for a service such as the MoneyMaxim EnergyMonitor – where we will check it for you every four months and alert you if we feel you would be better off on another tariff.