Energy price cap: Mum vows to go hungry to pay soaring energy bill for disabled daughter's equipment

  • Yvette and Rosey Clements are already facing agonising choices, reports ITV News Anglia's Raveena Ghattaura

A widowed mother has told how she fears she may have to go hungry this winter to help pay for her severely disabled daughter's essential care.

Yvette Clements cares 24 hours a day for her daughter Rosey, who was diagnosed with athetoid cerebral palsy when she was seven months old, and is also registered blind and has epilepsy.

Rosey, 23, needs a range of specialist equipment powered by electricity each day - including an electric bed, electric hoist, electric feed pump, electric wheelchair, electric bath and two CCTV cameras to monitor her throughout the night.

Rosey is unable to regulate her own temperature, so Yvette says she has no choice but to have the heating on to keep her warm, or the fans on to keep Rosey cool when it is hot.

And with the energy price cap from October having been set at £3,549 on Friday, Yvette now fears that sky-rocketing bills will leave her unable to make ends meet.

Rosey Clements, 23, has complex disabilities and is cared for by her mother. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Widow Yvette said she paid £122 for electricity in June, and last month, it more than doubled to £294.

"What do you choose? Heating, eating, paying the rent?" she asked.

"We don't have any money left and that is without going into winter months now. So choices will have to be made.

"I won't be putting the oven on for me. Thank goodness that Rosey is fed through the tube. I will just not buy meals, or put the oven on."

Yvette lives alone with her daughter in Great Plumstead near Norwich and is unable to work because her daughter requires care around the clock.

With the latest predictions warning that annual bills could hit £6,500 by next April, Yvette is urging the government to do more, and is scared she will not be able to afford her energy bills in the coming months.

"You're raising a child that's not going to be here forever, and the decisions are: do we have a day out? Do we not have a day?" she said.

"I have to live with that guilt. And I want her to have the best life while she's here on this earth."

On Tuesday, the government announced around six million disabled people would receive a £150 cost of living payment from the end of September.

It comes on top of other cost-of-living payments totalling £650 for disabled people on low incomes.

The disability charity Sense has set up an emergency fund to support disabled people, as four out of five families living with children or adults with complex disabilities believe the government is not doing enough to tackle the cost of living crisis.

One thousand families will receive £500 from the charity, timed to coincide with October’s energy price cap rise.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know