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Parents turned off energy due to high bills 

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

The research commissioned by the biggest parent-led climate group in the UK, 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 is calling on politicians of all parties to commit to a safe and thriving environment for the next generation.

The majority of parents in the UK (56%) believe investment in renewable energy would have a positive impact on the UK 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 government’s consistent support for new oil and gas licenses in the UK.

Parents For Future, want 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 of Parents For Future UK said:

Every parent wants their child to have a safe, warm home, but this winter sky-high energy bills pushed parents across the UK 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.”



*parents with children under 18

  • For more information, please contact Charlotte at or 079747 36261. Spokespeople are available on request.
  • Polling was conducted by Opinium; fieldwork took place between the 21st and the 26th of February 2024. Sample was a nationally and politically representative sample of 1008 UK parents with children under 18.
  • Parents for Future UK is a parent-led climate movement, formed in 2019 by a small group of mums. Parents for Future is the biggest parent climate movement in the UK – and growing fast. With a network of over 30,000 supporters and 35 local groups, we focus on building resilient community, and creative, peaceful campaigning for a safer, healthier tomorrow for all kids.