MORE than 40 per cent of people over 50 in Scotland are thought to be living in fuel poverty, with some cutting down on food in the face of soaring bills.

A study from Age Scotland, a charity dedicated to helping the elderly, has found that 42% of Scots over 50 were in fuel poverty through the summer.

Meanwhile, 76% said they were concerned about the cost of their bills.

Age Scotland said the results of the study were “incredibly worrying” and have called for more to be done to stop the elderly from suffering alone.

The national survey also found that there had been a huge fall in the proportion of older households able to heat their homes – falling from 88% in 2018 to 46% in 2022.

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The survey took account of the views of over 1000 Scots over the age of 50.

Some responses reported taking money-saving measures like heating only one room of their house while others said they had limited food or travel to keep costs down.

One respondent said their bills had skyrocketed by 91% and had to delay their retirement.

They said: “I have delayed full retirement as I cannot afford my housing costs with the rise in the cost-of-living. I am now considering having to sell my home to downsize and reduce costs. I only heat one room now. I have also reduced the amount of cooking I do to use less gas – eating cold foods and so on.”

Another said they were considering selling their home to downsize and reduce their costs.

The charity said the reported figures show the urgent need for further aid to help those struggling in the face of the cost-of-living crisis.

Brian Sloan, Age Scotland’s chief executive, said: “This new research paints an incredibly worrying picture of how older people are coping with rising energy costs. The fact so many older people were already struggling when this research was conducted, during the warmest and brightest months of the year, should set alarm bells ringing.

“The devastating impact of rising costs has been apparent for months, but will truly hit home as the weather turns colder and the latest Ofgem price cap increase comes into effect. We urgently need an even greater package of targeted support from governments to help people survive the worst of this crisis.”