How Equity Release could ease winter blues

Published: 30/09/2011

Many homeowners, sweating not from our Indian summer but over the rising costs of energy bills, are considering equity release as weather gurus predict a flurry of snow could hit the country as early as October and November.

James Madden, of Exacta Weather, said:

“I expect to see the first signs of some moderate to heavy snowfalls as early as October or November in certain parts of the UK.

“I expect December, January and February to experience below-average temperatures, with the heaviest snowfall occurring within the time frame of November to January across many parts of the UK.”¹

The six major gas and electricity providers in the UK – British Gas, Scottish Power, E.ON, npower, EDF Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy – have all increased their price tariffs; EDF the last one to follow suit.

The London based energy supplier will be increasing gas and electricity prices by 15.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively. This equates to a 33p increase per day, £120.45 annually. However, these increases are marginal when compared to the other big hitters.

Supplier Gas price
price increase²
British Gas 18% 16%
Scottish Power 19% 10%
E.ON 18.1% 11.4%
Scottish and Southern Energy 18% 11%
npower 15.7% 7.2%
EDF Energy 15.4% 4.5%

Even before these hikes, households were struggling to heat their homes. According to the Yorkshire Post, 6.6 million homes nationwide are unable to heat their homes because of the current costs. And this is before the predicted big freeze engulfs us again.

Jenny Saunders, Chief Executive of the charity National Energy Action, is worried, describing the situation as “the biggest crisis facing the energy sector in decades”³. With pensions and savings already suffering in the chilly financial climate, equity release is now a very real option for many over 55’s struggling with the rising cost of living.

¹Metro (Sep 2011)
²Money Facts (Sep 2011)
³Key Retirement Solutions (Sep 2011)

Content correct at time of publication

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