William Eichler 26 February 2016

Four million children in England live in fuel poverty

Four million children in England live in fuel poverty image

Almost four million children in England live in families that are struggling to pay their energy bills, shocking new report reveals.

New research, published by the National Children's Bureau to mark Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, found 4 in 10 of those living in cold homes are couples or single parents with dependent children.

The report, funded by UK energy supplier Economy Energy, also showed there are links between children living in cold homes and suffering a range of health problems, such as asthma and bronchitis.

It is estimated that the cost to the NHS for treating conditions caused or made worse by living in a cold home is £1.4bn per year.

It also revealed how fuel poverty impacts on the educational attainment and general wellbeing of children.

The report quotes one young parent dealing with fuel poverty: 'No-one can understand fuel poverty unless they have lived in it.

‘Fuel poverty is when you wake up to find you have no gas, no money and two days 'til payday. You have to feed cold food to your children and wrap them up in coats, gloves and scarves indoors or trail them around the shops all day to keep them warm.’

Anna Feuchtwang, chief executive of the National Children's Bureau said:

'It is not just older people who suffer as a result of living in cold homes, many young parents too are stuck in a vicious cycle of low income, high energy tariffs on prepayment meters and housing that is damp and difficult to heat properly.

‘As a result, many will have fallen into debt and seen their children suffer illness brought on as a result of fuel poverty. The parents we spoke to want to do their bit but need better advice on how to cut their energy use and make their homes warmer and healthier.

‘Families shouldn't be left to solve these problems alone; urgent action is needed by the government, energy companies and housing providers to solve the fuel poverty crisis that millions of households find themselves in.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of HR/OD

Babergh & Mid Suffolk
£60,000 circa
The role will involve working closely with the Senior Leadership Team and Chief Executive to lead our People Strategy and... Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Babergh & Mid Suffolk

Customer Services Assistant (Libraries)

Essex County Council
Up to £9469 per annum
Please note this is part time position (18.5 hours a week) across Uttlesford, mainly based in Dunmow and Stansted and is to be offered on an initial 6 England, Essex, Dunmow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Services Assistant (Libraries)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938 per annum
Please note this position is to be offered on an initial 6 month , fixed term basis. Do you enjoy working with people? Enthusiastic about playing a ke England, Essex, Saffron Walden
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Services Assistant - Mark Hall Library

Essex County Council
£17000 - £18950 per annum
Please note that this position is a part time role, offering 18.5 hours per week and is offered on a Fixed Term Basis for a period of 6 months. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Practitioner - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
Please note this is a fixed term contract or secondment opportunity until December 2020 In Essex County Council we are "Serious about Social Work". H England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores what impact the increase to the Public Works Loan Board rate have on councils’ capital schemes and why adopting AI will not just improve customer service response times for councils.

This issue also finds out how local government pension funds are backing infrastructure projects and calls on local government to get better value from its technology spend.

Register for your free magazine