Posted: 01 April 2014

2m children in poverty miss out on the warm home discount

Last week, Sarah Newton MP held a Westminster Hall debate on increasing access to the warm home discount which provides vulnerable groups with a £135 weekly discount on their energy bills.

The warm home discount is a crucial form of support for low income families struggling with energy bills.

Help ensure that families’ homes are warm next winter

While low-income pensioners automatically get this support, all others, including disadvantaged families with children, need to apply for this help from their supplier. Even then, the decision whether they can get it is at energy companies' discretion, and each uses different criteria to determine who is eligible. Our figures show that last winter around two million children in families living in poverty missed out on a warm home discount.

Over the winter we asked you to write to your MP to ask the government to make sure no child’s health suffers because of a cold home. 

Help us keep up the pressure on parliament. Join us to make the warm home discount automatically available to all families with children living in poverty – tell your MP that no child should have to grow up in a cold home.

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The debate

It is fantastic to have the support of Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, who kicked off the debate by outlining why she supports our campaign and called on the government to take action. 

In response, Gregory Baker, Minister of State for Climate Change, said that later this spring, the  government will consult on how the warm home discount will be applied in 2015-16. He also confirmed that he will work closely with us as we consult on how the warm home discount could be better targeted to ensure those who need help most can access it.

Encouragingly, Mr Baker acknowledged that some families who should be eligible for the discount can have difficulties accessing the scheme. He said that his department is considering how policies could be better targeted at groups that have problems accessing the scheme, including low-income families with young children.

As the government gets ready to consult on the future of the Warm Home Discount we will continue to work with MPs like Sarah Newton to make sure that every family with children living in poverty gets a warm home discount – helping to ensure we end the scandal of children growing up in cold homes. 

Please tell your MP that no child should have to grow up in a cold home.

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By Jake Mcleod - Policy team

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