Thanks to families showing support for Out of Energy campaign

4 mins read

Wednesday 1 June 2022

Tags: disability, energy costs, energy cap, electrical equipment

We were blown away by the incredible support we received from families throughout our successful Out of Energy campaign.

Our campaign called on the government for targeted support for disabled households to help with soaring energy bills. Last week, the Chancellor unveiled new measures to help UK households, including support for disabled households. 

Parent Emma is part of our campaigner network and worked with us to make this happen. She said: “I am so honoured to have been part of the Out of Energy campaign. I’m so happy speaking out in the media, and your campaign has made such a positive change for disabled children. You’ve done an amazing job. Thank you again.”

But our campaign doesn’t end here. Last week, the Chief Executive of Ofgem Jonathan Brearley said the energy price cap could rise to £2,800 in October. However, our research found that many families with disabled children are already facing bills of that size.

Without better support now and in the longer-term, families could find the gains from the government’s latest support package wiped out.

Families making the case for more support

Thousands of you showed your support for our Out of Energy campaign by signing our letter to the Chancellor. Many of you spoke on TV, radio and to newspaper journalists, highlighting why disabled households have unavoidably high energy costs.

Parent carers like Amy Jonson from Cardiff. Amy is a sandwich carer for her elderly mum and son Jayden, aged 10, who has Cerebral Palsy. She says she has always been good at budgeting, but is struggling to manage these unprecedented rises in energy costs.

Amy says: “My son has cerebral palsy and needs electrical equipment for his care and to take part in everyday life – electric hoists, bed, wheelchair and communication devices. We would be at a complete loss without this equipment.

“On top of that Jayden, can’t regulate his body temperature. When he is home and it’s cold, we need the heating on. That means a third of my income is goes on energy costs. There is very little help. The predicted costs in October could be very serious for us and many other families in a similar situation.”

There is nothing more to cut back on

Kerry Richmond from Suffolk is mum to Oscar, aged 12, who has a rare genetic disorder and complex health needs. She told us: “Equipment we have plugged in or on charge all the time include a hoist and chair lift, standing frame, feeding pump, SATs monitor and Epilepsy monitor. Oscar has an electric changing bed so a spare battery is on charge for that. Two years ago we were paying £250 per month, and that’s been creeping up and up.

“Our bill for February-March this year was £436. It’s frightening, and we are really worried. Oscar needs a daily bath. We are washing him in what feels like a puddle, because we dare not fill the bath too full. There is nothing more we can cut back on.”

Join our campaign network and help us call for longer-term support

We are pleased that the Chancellor has finally acknowledged the extra costs disabled households face.

But families we support still face worrying times, and one-off measures won’t be enough in the longer term. There’s a danger that any gains made could be wiped out if a family with a disabled child has to claim Universal Credit, which for 100,000 families will mean being worse of by more than £1,800 a year as a result of the 50% cut to the lower child disability addition.

We will continue to call for continuing financial support for families with disabled children. Join our campaigner network to be the first to hear about opportunities to take part in our campaign activities.

Help with energy costs

If you need advice on paying your fuel bills check out our webpage on help with utility costs.