Feed the children or heat the house

The recent forecasts of colder temperatures and snow warnings across the UK will no doubt bring increased concern to the thousands of people struggling with the costs of heating their homes.

Wednesday, 19th February 2014, 9:00 pm
Fuel poverty sees some rural residents choose between heating and eating

As part of our fuel poverty campaign, we’ve been hearing stories from people up and down the country who are struggling to cope with their energy bills. This is having a huge impact on their lives and they are desperately looking for help and support. For example a father who is having to choose between heating his home and feeding his children, and a lady with disabilities who is forced to stay in bed all day to keep warm.

These stories echo our recent research which found over two-thirds (68%) of people on low incomes have experienced stress trying to cover these costs, and over two-fifths (43%) have been forced to cut back on food or skip meals. Over a fifth (22%) have suffered ill health as a result of cold housing.

With the cost of living steadily increasing, people feel like they have no option but to borrow money and cut back on essentials to cover costs. With stagnant wages and rising energy costs, the gap between the cost of people’s bills and what they can afford to pay is growing.

Therefore, this winter we are encouraging anyone in need to see if they can access support to help them close this gap. We have created six steps, using our free tools and information, at www.turn2us.org.uk/fuelpoverty to help people maximise their income and manage their energy costs.

Our Freephone helpline is also available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm on 0808 802 2000.

We urge anyone who is struggling to see what help they might be able to get – it could make all the difference.

Alison Taylor

Director of Turn2us