Out of Energy: Tell the government to act now

2 mins read

Friday 29 April 2022

Tags: energy costs, out of energy, open letter, campaigning

42% of parent carers couldn't afford any heating last winter

UK households with disabled children fear £3,000 energy bills from April will worsen their child’s condition, our new #OutofEnergy research, published today, has found.

Average annual energy bills for these households were £1,909 in the last 12 months. That was already £600 more than the average household bill.

And as energy prices rise, we have huge concerns about how families are going to cope.

The Chancellor failed to recognise the huge extra costs of disabled households in his Spring Statement. We are now calling on him to put this right.

Our key findings

In our survey of 5,499 families in March 2022:

  • During this winter, 42% went without heating and 10% went without vital electric powered disability equipment because they were unaffordable to run.
  • Families estimate they pay £74 per month to run disability aids and equipment, such as adjustable beds, ceiling track hoists, wheelchair chargers, feeding and suction pumps.
  • From April, families with disabled children expect higher than average increases in their annual bills to more than £3,000 per year.

“My son has multiple machines on charge everyday – sats monitors, suction machine, profiling bed, feeding pump, neb machine, air purifier, lights are on day and night as we have carers. I just can’t afford to carry on paying £300 per month, this is just too much. I don’t know what we are going to do.”

Parent carer

What we want

We’re calling on the government to:

  • Make the £200 energy rebate announced in February into a non-repayable grant for disabled households.
  • Look again at proposed changes to the Warm Home Discount Scheme in July to ensure it helps more families who have higher than average bills due to disability. Currently, the changes do not take into account the impact of disability on energy costs.
  • Uprate disability benefits in line with current inflation. Although they were uprated in April, this was based on September 2021’s inflation figures. Due to a huge surge in inflation in recent months, families are actually getting a significant real terms cut in financial support.

We’ve written an open letter to the Chancellor calling on his government to do more to help disabled households with energy costs.

Add your voice to our campaign – sign our open letter now.