‘An extra half a million households with children will be unable to pay for their bills’

There will be more than two million fuel poor homes with children in April, a new report suggests

Big Zero Report 2022

The number of fuel poor households with at least one dependent child will increase by nearly half a million, a charity has warned.

The National Energy Action (NEA) estimates that in April there will be in total 2,100,000 homes with children that will be unable to afford their bills.

The fuel poverty charity is calling on the government and the Treasury to expand eligibility for the Winter Fuel Payment.

The NEA said the scheme should include 2.4 million working age, low income households across the UK.

NEA Director of Policy and Advocacy Peter Smith said: “It’s heartbreaking to see the number of children who could be in fuel poverty if there is a massive energy price cap rise in April.

“It will be an exceptionally grim time for families, in particular, for single parents.

“Children living in cold homes are more than twice as likely to suffer from asthma or bronchitis and almost 100% more at risk of suffering from breathing problems at night. We are really worried these impacts will get much worse and some could continue over their whole lifetime.”

A government spokesperson told ELN: “We recognise people are facing pressures with the cost of living, which is why we are taking action worth more than £4.2 billion and supporting vulnerable households through initiatives such as the £500 million Household Support Fund and Warm Home Discount.

“The Energy Price Cap is currently insulating millions of consumers from high global gas prices. We’ll continue to listen to consumers and businesses on how to manage the costs of energy.”

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