More than 100 people aged over 65 and living alone in the Braintree district have no central heating.

Analysis of 2021 census data by PA reveals 8,931 people over the age of 65 lived alone in the district – almost 29 per cent of the age group.

Of the elderly people living alone, 139 did not have central heating.

Across England and Wales, about 3.1 million elderly people were living alone when the census took place in March 2021.

About 66,000 of them had no central heating.

Caroline Abrahams of charity Age UK said: “These figures are of tremendous concern, as older people lacking central heating often find it very difficult to stay warm during the winter months with potentially serious consequences for their health and wellbeing.

“Living alone can make this situation worse as it means that one person’s income has to stretch further to cover the fixed costs of heating a home, and it can, in some cases, lead to social isolation, which can have additional negative consequences.”

A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesman said: “We know this is a difficult time for families, including older people, which is why we’ve been covering around half of the typical household’s energy bill.”

They said improving the energy efficiency of homes is the best long-term method of tackling fuel poverty.

“That’s why we’ve committed over £6.6billion in this parliament to improve energy efficiency and, in addition, last month we announced the new expanded Great British Insulation Scheme to deliver even more upgrades,” they added.

Age UK said anyone who is struggling, or their concerned families and friends, can contact its free advice line on 0800 169 65 65 which is open every day from 8am until 7pm.