12 Nov 10

GENERATION GAP WIDENS AS ELDERLY



-Research revealed by EDF Energy to launch annual Safe, Warm and Well Campaign -


New research released today suggests Britons are three times more likely to spend their free time working out in the gym than keeping their grandparents’ company, as our time commitments and priorities change as a nation.


The study, carried out by ICM, for EDF Energy to mark the launch of their annual Safe, Warm and Well campaign, shows that Britons, on average, spend a staggering 684 hours indulging in personal hobbies like running on the treadmill, compared to 205 hours with elderly relatives each year. Through the Safe, Warm and Well campaign, EDF Energy is providing information for those who need support in keeping warm this winter and cutting their energy bills. Earlier this week, EDF Energy pledged to keep standard

i gas and electricity prices for residential customers at their current levels this winter, until at least the start of March 2011.


Despite nearly a quarter of the British respondents (24%) admitting they know their elderly relatives want to see them more often, nearly one-third of respondents (29%) confessed to spending no time at all with them each week. Results show that 18-24 year olds spend the least amount of time with their elderly relatives, with 42% of young adults spending no face time with them at all. However, only a fifth of those surveyed (21%) feel guilty about their actions and only 13% of respondents worry about elderly relatives looking after themselves. According to these findings, the North West tops the list of regions who spend the most time with elderly relatives (6 hours per week) whilst those living in London spend the least time with them (3 hours per week).


It’s not only the gym taking attention away from our elderly relatives with the study revealing we spend a staggering six times more time with work colleagues compared to elderly relatives due to current economic pressures demanding more hours spent in the workplace. However, we spend a significant 1,626 hours a year more with our parents and children compared with our grandparents.


With a cold winter predicted again this year, the elderly are one of the groups most likely to be affected by fuel poverty. The Fuel Poverty Report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)ii reveals the largest number of fuel poor households fall into the single person over the age of 60 category. According to

EDF Energy’s report, 59% of people in the UK are unaware of the availability of low-income help or energy tariffs to help pay energy bills. Through its Safe, Warm and Well programme, EDF Energy offers useful information about staying warm, along with ways that could help save everyone money on their heating bills. Help includes practical tips and advice for vulnerable customers, guidance on how best to pay heating bills and recommendations of the best information channels and benefits which are available to help those struggling to pay their bills this winter.

Arlene Phillips, TV Judge and Ambassador for EDF Energy’s Safe, Warm and Well campaign, comments, "We all know there are time pressures which can take over, whether it be work commitments or financial burdens, but we mustn’t forget our elderly relatives this winter. EDF Energy’s Safe, Warm and Well campaign aims to make those living in difficult financial situations, aware of what help is available and the changes they can make around the home to stay warm and cut back on their household energy costs. I’ve learnt the simplest changes can make all the difference, from closing the curtains at night time to setting a timer on your heating system."


Ian Scott, Energy Advice Manager at WRVS, comments, "We’re delighted to be working with EDF Energy on their Safe, Warm and Well campaign to highlight the issues that face many older and vulnerable UK residents during the colder months. With our wealth of experience and knowledge about older people’s issues, social care and volunteering, combined with the benefits and advice EDF Energy provides customers on reducing their energy bills and consumption, we can make a real practical and positive difference to older people’s lives this winter."


Valentine Mulholland, Energy Policy Manager at EDF Energy, comments, "We understand that during the winter months we need to look out for our elderly relatives more than ever. The Safe, Warm and Well campaign has been established to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are looked after during the coldest months. Alongside our charity partner, WRVS, we are raising awareness of the benefits and energy tariffs that are available for our vulnerable customers."


For more information on EDF Energy’s Safe, Warm and Well campaign and to download practical help and advice, please visit: http://www.edfenergy.com/safewarmandwell



Notes to editors


Further information about the survey results


ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 2,005 individuals across England, Wales and Scotland about the amount of time they spend with their elderly relatives compared to other groups, their relationships with their elderly relatives and their awareness of how to cope with any problems in paying fuel bills. The yearly totals were calculated by taking the average weekly figures and multiplying by 52, the total number of weeks in a year. The research was conducted online between the 27

th and 28th October 2010. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk


Further information about EDF Energy’s Winter Price Freeze Guarentee


EDF Energy’s Winter Price Freeze Guarantee ensures new and existing domestic customers can benefit from stable, competitive energy prices at the time they need them most. Energy consumption is typically at its highest in winter with average gas use in the coldest months of December and January more than six times higher than in July and August.