Guest blog – Energy Bill Revolution

This blog was contributed by Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy Bill Revolution. 

The recent prediction from the energy regulator OFGEM that energy bills are likely to rise as the UK becomes more dependent on gas is more bad news for British households facing ever mounting financial pressure.

The average dual fuel energy bill now costs a household over £1,400 each year. As the energy bills bite, fuel poverty is now rocketing out of control, affecting 1 in 4 families in the UK. A fuel poverty crisis is unfolding before our eyes.

Behind these figures lies a real human tragedy. Thousands of older people die from the cold every year and in extreme cases people are left with the stark 220x220_woman_adjusting_thermostatchoice of whether to feed their family or heat their home. Many of those most affected are the most vulnerable, older people, the disabled and young children.

The reaction of the Government to this crisis is lamentable. Despite their protestations that they are doing all they can to help the figures speak for themselves. They have cut spending on the fuel poor by 26% and slashed funding for energy efficiency measures for the fuel poor by 44%.  This is despite the fact that experts recognise by far the best long term solution to fuel poverty is to super insulate the UK housing stock.  The result is that fuel poverty is getting worse and by 2016 there could be up to 9 million households in fuel poverty.

But there is a solution and it is fair and affordable. The Energy Bill Revolution is an alliance campaign to help everyone to have a warm home and to end fuel poverty. Age UK is a core and highly valued member of this alliance. Together we are calling on the Government to use the revenues from carbon tax, which ends up on all our energy bills, to insulate UK homes, prioritising those most in need.

The Government will rake in an average of £4 billion per year in carbon tax over the next decade alone and it will steadily rise. This is enough to give £6,500 to over half a million households every year to insulate their homes. In time every UK home could be treated. And in case you thought that was expensive, according to one of the most prestigious economic institutes in the UK, Cambridge Econometrics, it would create more jobs and growth for the money invested than anything else the Government could do. The reason is that super-insulation is a job intensive activity and it would save the average household over £400 per year, every year on their gas bill.

The Energy Bill Revolution is supported by over 100 major national charities and businesses and is being discussed in public meetings across the UK this winter. Such a wide range of stakeholders have come together because this solution makes sense. It can help wean the UK off fossil fuels, end the blight of fuel poverty and re-build Britain.  Every year the Government fails to act costs more lives. There is not a moment to lose.

Age UK is supporting the Energy Bill Revolution campaign. You can sign the petition and email your MP here.

Find out more about Age UK’s Spread the Warmth campaign and why we need to protect the health of older people in winter at www.spreadthewarmth.org.uk

Read more about the Energy Bill Revolution 

3 responses to “Guest blog – Energy Bill Revolution

  1. First off let the cheap shale gas start now as they have done in the USA
    Secondly let the young wear warmer clothes ,dear Lord,how many of us remember getting up to ice on the bedroom windows,let us not confuse the needs of the really elderly with young and active people who are very wasteful.
    Any person living alon,or with a partner aged 75 or over should have free heating from October to April

    Any person aged 80 0r over and living alone shoudl habe free heating from October to April

  2. I think this is the only possible solution, which can help lots of people live comfortably and avoid ill-effects of the cold. Though it would require some investment in the start to help insulate every home but in the longer run, it will save fuel and thus will make living a lot more comfortable and cheaper.

    As we all realize that all the known sources of fuel are getting depleted faster and it’s time we should devise and encourage such solutions, which prevent the use of fuel to live a comfortable life.

  3. David Mills Garrett

    The energy firms seem to look only at gas electric Anyone living in the country will Know the only fuel is oil or gas in bulk nether cheep and it is quite an outlay atone time

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