A Dundee pensioner has claimed spiralling electricity bills of up to £130 per fortnight have left him relying on foodbanks.
Allan Carroll, who stays in Old Ryehill Church on Perth Road, says his electricity bills have jumped after the installation of a new eco-friendly boiler.
The Home Group, the housing association which Allan and his wife Frances rent their property from, installed a Thermaflow boiler in their flat five years ago.
But it led to the couple’s electricity bill doubling almost immediately.
Now the bills have crept up so much, Allan and his wife are struggling to make ends meet – and have had to turn to help from charities for food.
Allan said: “I have been fighting with the Home Group to get the boiler replaced because it is too expensive.
“My wife and I are both pensioners with ill health and we can’t afford £130 a fortnight.
“We will be freezing in the winter.
“I am having to go to food banks at the moment because I can’t afford to put the heating on and also get food in because all our money is going towards electricity.”
The Thermaflow service provide energy for electric heating and hot water – but Allan slammed the boiler and branded it “ridiculous”.
He said: “It is about six foot tall and meant for a four or five bedroom house, not a one bedroom flat, it looks like something out of Star Trek.
“I think they got these boilers on a deal and decided they were putting them in and never gave the tenants any choice.
“This winter is going to be bad for us as we need to rely more on using the heating to keep the flat warm.
“My wife Frances has COPD and last winter she was in the hospital six times because of how cold it was.
“She was very ill last year and the doctors had prepared us for the worst. I’m worried about this winter now.”
Karen Wolstencroft, head of service delivery at Home Group said: “Home Group understands the impact fuel poverty can have, especially in the current climate, so we’re sorry to hear about the problems our customer has experienced.
“We will carry out a full inspection and monitor the system for the next four weeks in order to better determine the cause of the excessive costs. We’ll also work with the customer to ensure that the system is operated within the manufacturers recommendations.
“The boiler has a 100% efficient rating and was installed in 2013 as the building is not serviced with a gas supply. The system is designed to operate at off-peak times and the customer had previously been advised not switch the boiler off as it had resulted in high costs for him in the past.
“As well as our own inspections, we have recently partnered with Home Energy Scotland and will refer the customer, if necessary, where he will be provided with expert advice and an energy saving consultation to ensure his costs are stable in time for winter.”