Five of the 'big six' energy companies have changed their practices

boy looking cold sitting on a sofa

In early 2015, our research uncovered that there are nearly a million children living in families in energy debt, all too often growing up in cold homes that put their health at risk.

Within a year, five of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies had made at least one change we recommended in our Show Some Warmth report. This is a fantastic result that will benefit almost 200,000 children and young people living in families in energy debt.

This vital change couldn’t have been achieved without the support of over 6,000 campaigners who signed our petition. However, energy companies still need to do more to eradicate the use of damaging debt practices to help prevent cold family homes and harm to children's health.

Debt's damage

Our research revealed that almost a million children are live in families in energy debt, having a damaging impact on their health. These children are three times more likely to have damp or mould in their home and three times as likely to have been ill the previous winter.

These families have been left with impossible choices between keeping their children warm and paying off debt. Parents told us that they couldn’t give their children a hot bath or shower as often as they would like to due to their unmanageable energy debt. As families cut back, more than half of children in energy debt have to wear extra clothes in bed with four in ten saying their bedroom is too cold to sleep in at night.

Energy companies are failing to follow the rules by using damaging debt practices, leaving family homes cold and harming children’s and parents’ health.

Advice for families

We’ve produced advice for families who are struggling with their energy bills.

Our advice includes tips to save money, information on what Government savings you can get for your energy bills and what you should know if you do fall into debt on your bills. 

Please download our advice for families.

The Debt Trap

Show Some Warmth is part of our Debt Trap campaign to end debt's damaging effects on children.

Together, we are lifting the lid on the devastating impact that debt can have on children's lives, and how it can tear families apart.

Find out more about the Debt Trap.