For many households across Cambridgeshire, energy costs are not just a line item on a monthly statement but, increasingly, a significant financial burden.
However, the high cost of energy is disproportionately affecting vulnerable and low-income households. They increasingly find themselves pushed to the brink, grappling with the choice between heating their homes and putting food on the table.
Our Surviving Winter Appeal is raising money to support those facing fuel poverty this winter.
We are partnering with charities across the county to make direct payments towards the energy costs of people facing fuel poverty. This includes topping up prepayment meters, paying for heating oil deliveries and financing boiler repairs.
The support offered through the appeal so far has evidenced the plethora of risk factors that can contribute to fuel poverty.
The following factors have contributed to local families and individuals seeking support with energy costs:
- Low income leads to high energy costs consuming a significant portion of income, leaving less money for other essential needs.
- Homes with poor energy efficiency add further strain on households that are already struggling with high energy costs.
- People living in rural areas often have limited access to mains gas, which results in higher reliance on more expensive heating fuels.
- Individuals living with certain health conditions and/or disabilities may require more heating to maintain a comfortable and healthy living environment. They may also spend more time at home and be dependent on powered medical equipment, which both result in higher energy demand.
- Older individuals, especially those living on fixed pensions, may struggle to meet rising energy costs. However, they are often more susceptible to health issues, so maintaining a warm living environment is crucial for their wellbeing.
- Single-parent households, often led by a single income, may face difficulties in managing energy expenses, especially if they have young children.
- Those experiencing unemployment may struggle to afford basic necessities, including energy bills.
The cold weather will continue to pose a challenge to local families and individuals facing life circumstances that may increase their risk of fuel poverty.
The Foundation encourages anyone who is in a position to help, to please donate to help those who otherwise face cold homes for the remaining winter months.
How to access support
People who need help to stay warm and afford energy this winter can seek support from the Surviving Winter Appeal’s charity partners, who will be distributing the raised funds by making direct payments relating to energy costs.
The partner organisations are: