Out of Energy

We are calling on government to help families with disabled children with their higher energy costs.

Take action now – sign our open letter from families to the Chancellor and Energy Minister.

Why we’re campaigning

Families with disabled children reliant on life-saving electrical equipment are already paying £600 a year more for their energy.

And with families expecting to pay higher-than-average energy bills of more than £3,000 this year, 40% fear that the consequences — such as turning off heating and reducing the use of vital aids — will worsen their child’s condition.

“My son has multiple machines on charge every day – 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

Survey results

On Friday 29 April the BBC exclusively revealed the findings from our Out of Energy survey on their new Access All podcast.

Based on responses from 5,499 families in March 2022, we found that:

Download the full survey report [PDF] and national/regional breakdown [.xlsx]

Watch Emma Foster from Wigan on BBC Breakfast and our Head of Campaign, Una Summerson talking about our Out of Energy findings.

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey. We really appreciate it.

What we want

The Chancellor failed to recognise the huge extra costs of disabled households in his Spring Statement.

In response to our findings, we are now calling on the government to put this right.

We want: 

“Our research found that 85% of families with disabled children use more energy due to their child’s condition. Essential equipment like ventilators, food pumps and hoists as well as more washing due to continence issues or more heating due to mobility issues all add up to bigger bills. And for many it would be dangerous to cut back on usage.

Families are left with impossible choices. Already this winter, almost half have gone without heating and one in 12 has gone without vital disability aids. Many are forced into unmanageable debt just to keep their kids safe. It was hugely disappointing that the Chancellor’s statement gave nothing to help disabled households cope with unprecedented soaring prices.”

Amanda Batten, Contact CEO

What you can do

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

Alongside our open letter from families, we’ve also sent the Chancellor a letter from more than 50 other charities calling for more help.