Spiralling electricity costs have left a Wiltshire family of five suffering in the cold, while black mould has forced them from their home.

Laura Jones, who has lived at the GreenSquareAccord property in Calne since 2016, says she cannot afford to run most of the house’s storage heaters at more than ten degrees due to the high cost.

Ms Jones runs one heater at 18 degrees for her one-year-old son while he sleeps but keeps the others between seven and ten degrees.

She said: “The storage heaters have always been costly but it’s even worse now energy prices have gone up.

“I keep telling GreenSquareAccord that we can’t heat our home because they cost too much to run. I can’t afford £30 or more a day.

“I’ve got a one-year-old who always has freezing cold hands. His fingers are red raw and frozen, and it makes me feel bad because they shouldn’t be living like this.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Ms Jones says ice forms on the inside of her windows due to the cold.Ms Jones says ice forms on the inside of her windows due to the cold. (Image: Laura Jones)

Ms Jones has tried to reduce the family’s energy usage by restricting the time her children spend on electronic devices or charging their phones. She is hoping the closed fireplace at the property can be reopened to provide another source of heat.

Black mould has been a recurring issue in the home because of the cold conditions. Ms Jones has tackled this with several anti-mould sprays, while GreenSquareAccord have treated the mould and installed extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom.

Despite this she claims the cold has made the mould worse than ever this winter, to the point she has taken her children to stay at a friend’s house until it is treated.

She added: “It has been an ongoing problem, but it’s never been as bad as it is now. I need action because there is damp and black mould.

“I can’t let my children go in the lounge and play because you can literally taste it when you breathe in. I don’t see why my children should have to suffer or risk having health problems when this is something that can be solved.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Ms Jones has cleaned the mould many times but it is a recurring issue due to cold and damp.Ms Jones has cleaned the mould many times but it is a recurring issue due to cold and damp. (Image: Laura Jones)

A GreenSquareAccord spokesperson said: “The safety and wellbeing of our customers is our top priority and we are sorry to hear that Ms Jones has been experiencing difficulties in her home.

“We have been working closely with Ms Jones to rectify the damp and mould in her home and we’ve visited her previously to deal with this and to offer energy advice and financial support.

“We will be sending one of our chartered surveyors to Ms Jones’s home on Wednesday, January 18 to carry out an assessment on the most recent damp and mould issue and to discuss the heating issues, which Ms Jones has so far not reported to us formally.

“We are committed to working with Ms Jones to resolve the issues in her home.”

Ms Jones is also trying to find a new home, as the house is not big enough for her family. She claims she has had to turn the dining area into a bedroom for her 15-year-old son and has been unable to find a four-bedroom council house.

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “We work with families where they face challenges and provide advice. 

“Family homes are in high demand across Wiltshire so we are not able to determine how long it might take before families are able to secure a larger home but we ensure families are assessed in accordance with the councils adopted allocation policy.

“The need for four or five-bed properties is extremely high, and these are allocated in line with the council’s priority banding. We encourage all families who require additional bedrooms to continue to bid and to consider any available properties advertised through Homes4Wiltshire.”