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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Sky high bills forced parents to turn off energy over the coldest months 


Families torn as they can’t afford heating but are concerned they are negatively impacting their children's health and wellbeing

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of parents in Scotland cut back their energy use over the winter period due to high bills. 

Research commissioned by parent-led climate group Parents For Future UK also found that parents with the lowest incomes (under £20,000) were cutting back the most on energy usage during the cold months (82%). 

Parents are torn as they can’t afford to pay the high energy bills but are also concerned they are negatively impacting their children's health and wellbeing (75%) and school work (62%). 

These concerns are backed up by expert studies with University College London’s Institute of Health Equity describing the spectre of the health and education impacts of children stuck in cold homes as a potential “humanitarian crisis”.

With an election looming, Parents For Future UK is calling on politicians of all parties to commit to a safe and thriving environment for the next generation. 

The majority of parents (56%) believe investment in renewable energy would have a positive impact on the economy. When asked what would bring down energy bills the fastest 39% of parents said renewable energy as opposed to just 12% who said new oil and gas licences, despite the UK government’s consistent support for new oil and gas licences.

Parents For Future UK wants all politicians to commit to stopping all new oil and gas licences, government investment in renewable energy and home insulation to bring down energy bills at the same time as tackling climate change.

Rowan Ryrie, co-founder, said:Every parent wants their child to have a safe, warm home, but this winter’s sky-high energy bills pushed parents to turn off the heating at the coldest time of the year. 

“Parents are understandably worried that turning off the heating is impacting their children’s health and wellbeing, and their ability to do their school work. But the cost of living crisis is forcing them to make impossible decisions that impact their children. It is shameful that the poorest parents were even more likely to be forced to cut their energy use during the coldest months to pay the bills.

“The government is failing to protect parents and their children from the cost of living crisis and these are the consequences. They are not doing enough to directly support people with high energy bills, and we want to see this prioritised by all parties ahead of the election, so parents are not forced to continue choosing between heating and eating for their children. 

“Parents feel let down and frustrated. The majority of parents want to see more investment in renewable energy to bring down bills at the same time as tackling climate change and yet, the government continues to prioritise dirty, expensive oil and gas. The parent vote will be crucial at the next election, and parents will prioritise political parties who protect their children from the climate crisis and the cost of living crisis.”



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