Wednesday 4 January 2012

Save the Children: Fuel Poverty Campaign

An e-mail popped up in my inbox today that I have to share with you:

Dear Becky,

Children shouldn’t need to wear hats, scarves and gloves in their homes just to keep warm. But this winter, hundreds of thousands of children could be left in the cold if we don't act now.

Here in the UK 1.6 million children are living in severe poverty. They’re going without basics like heating because their parents simply can’t pay the bills to keep their homes warm.

We’re asking all the big energy providers to give the poorest families with children under five a Warm Home Discount (a £120-a-year payment).

Add your voice to our fuel poverty campaign now and tell energy companies they must put money aside so children in the UK aren’t left in the cold.

Thank you,

Sacha Anthony,
Campaign Manager, Save the Children

This is a cause that is close to my heart. Last year in the bitterly cold winter I was very lucky as:

  • I qualified for winter fuel payments
  • the house I rent is modern with good insulation (improved by a council scheme)
  • Being able to pay by direct debit and use an online discount means I'm not forced on to the most expensive tariffs or a pre-payment meter
This meant that unlike many families I didn't have to choose between feeding my family or putting on the heating.

I was concerned at the start of this winter that as I no longer qualified for winter fuel payments that I would struggle more as my income has not increased. It has been a relief that so far its been mostly mild.

Just before I switched suppliers I was informed about the Warm Home Discount Scheme. It turns out that I qualified for this as the birthdate cut off for the youngest child is slightly older. Luckily as well my new supplier also subscribes to the Scheme - not all of them do! It may only be a £120 payment but it does mean that I don't have to worry about heating bills going up if the temperature drops over the next few months.

For other families who are being denied access to this scheme as their suppliers have not signed up to it they are still having to worry. So please sign the petition to end fuel poverty and change this for good: Add your voice to the fuel poverty campaign now

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