A Manchester cancer sufferer is calling on the government to freeze energy prices after struggling to pay his bills and being left freezing cold.
Former Environmental Health Officer Dave King and his wife have had to cope with freezing temperatures in their house due to being unable to afford the heating.
The pair, who live in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, blame soaring energy prices and are calling on the government to act.
“We changed providers last year, we got solar panels added to the house, we have the best insulation but we just aren’t seeing the benefit,” explained the 65-year-old.
“The house is well insulated and we have a modern boiler and although we are not poor we are effectively energy poor because of the extreme price of energy.”
Mr King is not the only person struggling with the cold as with temperatures continuing to hover around freezing, thousands of people are unable to keep warm, according to a recent survey conducted by energyhelpline.co.uk.
It found that nearly a half of people in Manchester were unable to afford their heating bills sufficiently to avoid the cold.
Meanwhile, across the country there has been a 29% increase in the amount of people unable to cope, raising the total number to 31,100.
Just last month, MM reported how Maria Brabiner campaigned after having to decide to eat or have the heating on in her house due to the cost of her bills, resulting in her losing over a stone in weight over the following weeks.
Although her campaign was against the Bedroom tax which crippled her financially after the death of her mother, the cost of heating bills played a crucial factor – which Mr King believes is the underlining problem.
“The problem is energy prices continue to rise but pensions don’t and even if they did the rate at which energy prices are shooting up means they will never be able to cope.
“Over the years people have taken the opportunities such as ourselves to have insulation put in and solar panels placed on the house but we are not seeing the benefit of all this as the price of energy is constantly increasing.
“Since we have retired and are obviously spending time at home the single biggest cost has been energy.”
Although according to the survey the biggest impact has been on people over 55 with 27% not turning their heating on or up when cold, young people are also being affected. It claims 55% of young people are also unable to turn up their heating.
Mr King believes the government need to do more for people to be able to cope and thinks a freeze in energy prices is the best solution.
“I want energy prices to be frozen for a specific amount of years so that people can budget accordingly without having to worry about a change in the prices as it’s no good trying to budget when you then get a rise,” he said.
“Having worked in local government for many years we tried to help Manchester as much as possible or certainly put it in the right direction but it’s the government that needs to focus on reducing or certainly freezing the price of energy.”
Picture courtesy of Thomas, with thanks.