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Many over-60s fear cold snap, study finds

Over half of people aged 60 or over are likely to be "dreading" a cold winter and many are concerned they would not be able to afford their heating bills, according to one charity.

Age UK said some 4.6 million sexagenarians are worried about the cost of staying warm if temperatures drop sharply.

Another 3.6 million admitted they would take "extreme" steps to fend off the cold while saving money, including wearing coats or scarves indoors, living in a single room to contain heat and staying in bed during the day.

Michelle Mitchell of Age UK said while the government's pledge to protect fuel payments will ease some of the worry for older households, there is "still some way to go to take the fear out of winter".

According to the Energy Saving Trust, one of the most effective ways to keep a house warm and control fuel costs is installing adequate layers of wall and loft insulation.

Its figures show that adding 270 mm of thermal insulation to a roof space can cut household bills by around £145 a year.