Fuel cost fears for disabled

THE effect of rising fuel bills and benefit reforms is being studied by researchers in York who fear it could be leaving some disabled people unable to pay for fuel.

Sociologists at University of York are carrying out a one-year study funded by fuel poverty organisation the eaga Charitable Trust. It is hoped the research will go on to form policy recommendations for the Government.

Principal investigator Dr Carolyn Snell, from the department of social policy and social work, said: “At present there is limited and fragmented evidence on the relationship between disability and fuel poverty – a household’s ability to heat their home.

"This is worrying as policy is changing rapidly, disabled people tend to have higher energy needs, and are more likely to be in poverty already. These three factors together could mean that some disabled people are facing impossible choices when trying to balance energy bills and other budgeting needs.”

Mark Bevan, from York’s Centre for Housing Policy, said welfare reforms would mean that free grants for loft insulation or a new boiler were managed by the private sector in the future.

He said: “It will be important to ensure that such initiatives are directed towards a range of different groups who will need this extra support, including disabled people of working age and families with disabled children.”

Any organisation interested in becoming involved in the project can email Carolyn Snell at carolyn.snell@york.ac.uk or Mark Bevan at mark.bevan@york.ac.uk

Comments (1)

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8:36am Tue 11 Dec 12

anistasia says...

Both me and wife are disabled we sound 5 or 6 days out of 7 at home because of my medication I feel the cold and having a cold the machine that keeps me alive at night is not as effective.my bikes went from £61 pm I was not paying enough so got a bill for the short fall that cost me just over £200 that kept my bills down or it would of cost me £105 pm now just got that sorted then monthly payments again went up £10 extra I am now paying £71pm but if I had not paid the outstanding amount (shortfall) of over £200 I would be paying just over £115pm just on gas.
Both me and wife are disabled we sound 5 or 6 days out of 7 at home because of my medication I feel the cold and having a cold the machine that keeps me alive at night is not as effective.my bikes went from £61 pm I was not paying enough so got a bill for the short fall that cost me just over £200 that kept my bills down or it would of cost me £105 pm now just got that sorted then monthly payments again went up £10 extra I am now paying £71pm but if I had not paid the outstanding amount (shortfall) of over £200 I would be paying just over £115pm just on gas. anistasia
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