No child should grow up in a cold home. We are calling on the government to make sure that all families with children living in poverty automatically get the warm home discount rebate - worth £135 in 2013-14 - on their energy bill.
Eligibility criteria for the warm home discount should be aligned across all energy companies, and all families living in poverty should be moved into a 'core' priority group, to ensure they get this help automatically.
Behind Cold Doors
Our report Behind Cold Doors: The Chilling Reality for Children in Poverty highlights the problem of families who are struggling to meet the costs of heating their homes and the impact on their children who are forced to grow up in a cold home.
The report found that:
- Two-thirds of families with children - around five million families - are likely to turn down their heating because they cannot afford to pay for it.
- Three million families are likely to cut back on food so they can pay their energy bills this winter.
- Around half a million families say they are likely to take out a loan this winter to cover the costs of heating their home.
- An estimated 3.6 million children thought their home was too cold last winter. Around 1.3 million said it had damp or mould.
- Around 1.9 million children living in poverty are in families that do not get a warm home discount - a vital lifeline to many vulnerable and low income families, providing a £135 rebate on their fuel bill. Many of these families are missing out simply because their energy company does not provide a warm home discount to working families living in poverty.