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Third Of Disabled People Cut Back On Gas And Electricity Use Fearing Bills Finds Scope Survey

January 13, 2017

A third of disabled people have cut back on their energy consumption over the last year to afford their bills, a charity said.

A survey of working-age disabled people found 32% reduced how much energy they use and 29% have struggled to pay their bills in the last 12 months, disability charity Scope said.

In order to keep up with energy payments, 24% have turned off their heating even though the house was cold, 18% have worn a coat indoors and 15% have borrowed money.

The charity’s analysis has found 554,000 disabled households spend more than £3,000 a year on energy, compared with the £1,354 spent by the average UK household.

It has called on energy companies to improve at identifying disabled people when they become customers, and work with them to manage their energy spending throughout the duration of the contract.

Scope chief executive Mark Atkinson said: “It’s appalling that in 21st century Britain disabled people have been forced to cut back on heating, wear a coat indoors, skip meals or borrow money as they struggle to cope with their energy bills.

“Disabled people frequently have to use more energy because they can be less mobile, need to regulate their body temperature or have to charge specialist equipment.

“Life costs more if you are disabled. Scope research shows that these costs add up to on average £550 a month, and higher energy bills play a significant part.”

Adam Lake, from the poverty charity Turn2us, said: “Our research has found that those living with a disability are more likely to cut back on heating their home because of the cost of their energy bills.

“Living in a cold home is terrible for your health, and is likely to exacerbate the health problems of someone with a disability.

“What often makes matters worse is that many of the most vulnerable are not on the lowest tariff on offer from their energy providers, and there is very low awareness of the other support available to those struggling.

“This is why it is so important that those finding it hard to cover the cost of heating their home are made aware of the support that is out there.”

 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. jeffrey davies permalink
    January 13, 2017 10:09 am

    been doing this for quite a while

  2. jeffrey davies permalink
    January 13, 2017 10:10 am

    What often makes matters worse is that many of the most vulnerable are not on the lowest tariff on offer from their energy providers, and there is very low awareness of the other support available to those struggling. yet how can you make the few bob you getr heat ur house up dear me untill we are given that extra then cold it will be

  3. January 13, 2017 1:58 pm

    In 2009 British Gas thought I was fiddling the meters and were going to charge me for a meter check I sent BG a complaint saying they were free to check the meters at any time but I would take them to court if they tried to charge me for the check, they came and checked and found them in perfect order I pulled a bluff on them that said BCC to complaints and CEO of BG before they came out. All this is because my combined bills for the previous 12 months came to just over £270 and I had a refund of nearly £280 on the 1 bed flat that was just 3 rooms in total.

  4. January 14, 2017 10:12 am

    We’ve been doing this for a while & have no choice but to keep doing it.

  5. January 14, 2017 10:12 am

    Reblogged this on campertessblog.

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  1. Third Of Disabled People Cut Back On Gas And Electricity Use Fearing Bills Finds Scope Survey | Benefit tales

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