Energy social tariff would help families with disabled children

2 mins read

Thursday 9 March 2023

Tags: budget, energy, social tariff, disabled children, disabled households

Ahead of next week’s Spring Budget, Contact is working with other charities and campaigners calling on the government to introduce a social tariff to help families with disabled children with their energy bills.

A social tariff is targeted financial help for those that need it most. We have joined with campaigners calling for an energy social tariff for those on a low incomes, households with disabled people and carers. Eligible households would get discounted bills or cash payments towards energy costs.

Social tariffs are already used for broadband and are used successfully for energy in other countries.

Soaring energy costs have hit disabled households hard

Una Summerson, Head of Campaigns at Contact, said: “Contact’s Out of Energy survey found that households with seriously ill and disabled children are paying on average £1,596 extra a year to run vital equipment like ventilators, adjustable beds, ceiling track hoists, wheelchair chargers and suction pumps. This is on top of needing to do more washing due to continence issues or requiring more heating due to conditions affecting mobility. Because of these unavoidable extra costs, soaring energy prices have hit families with disabled children hard. Those prices will not drop for some time yet so the government must act to help those who need it most.

“While the energy price guarantee helped in the short term, we have long argued for targeted support. A social tariff for energy is the best way to do this.”

Consumer champion Martin Lewis has backed a social tariff for energy. And Contact has signed up to Scope and Age UK’s letter to the Treasury calling for the same.

Una Summerson added: “We know from calls to our helpline that sky high energy bills are putting intolerable pressure on family finances and wellbeing. The government has an opportunity in next week’s budget to give help and hope to those who have been struggling the most with increased energy prices over the last year.”

Help us to campaign

We are looking for families to tell their stories of the impact of energy costs. Do you face astronomical bills because you need electrical equipment for the care of your child? Get in touch or telephone 07599 930 090.

Need help and advice?

We have lots of information about help with household bills.