As some things slow down for the summer, we wanted to share a brief update, and a “hold the date” for Fuel Poverty Action’s coming AGM, which is scheduled for 13 September.
Help stop Drax:
Before that, however, can we draw your attention to the request for objections to Drax power station’s plans to create the UK’s largest gas-fired plant to date, at a time when fossil fuels must urgently be phased out. Biofuelwatch asked us to spread the word on this. This year’s extreme temperatures are now making summer another dangerous season, with heat waves as lethal as cold. There is also the danger of air conditioning – for those who can afford it – further increasing carbon emissions and causing a vicious spiral of climate change, cost, and deaths. Biofuelwatch’s tweets and a facebook post for sharing are below. They also have a model response to the consultation (deadline 29 August), and we have a draft ourselves if you’d like to see it.
It’s been a very busy few months, pressing for
- an effective cap on energy prices (See e.g. here, here (with DPAC) and on Victoria Derbyshire Show here),
- a fairer deal for people with district or communal heating systems, (see eg here and here),
- better insulation where low and unenforced building standards have left residents in the cold (see here and here),
- relief for people in hard to heat rural homes with oil-fired heating (here and here), this has helped change government policy
- non-profit, democratically controlled municipal energy (eg here and here),
and at the same time, we have
- stood up for lots of individuals and residents’ groups in battles with their energy or heat suppliers, and landlords, private or social.
- republished our MiniGuide to energy customers rights (now expanded with information on rights in relation to landlords),
- responded to several GLA and other consultations on housing policies and on fuel poverty,
- spoke at and participated in Housing Justice conference in Liverpool, forming a new coalition
- combined forces with organisations of pensioners, asylum seekers, and people with disabilities, and been active participants in the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, the Radical Housing Network, the movement to divest from fossil fuels, the Right to Energy coalition, aiming to eliminate energy poverty in Europe, and more.
Safe Cladding and Insulation Now!
For the last six months, however, the lion’s share of our energy has gone into starting the SCIN campaign for Safe Cladding and Insulation Now, following the appalling loss of life at Grenfell Tower. If you haven’t been seeing our mailings about this, have a quick skim of the website front page and News, and see more under “Cladding and Insulation” tab – including the Open Letter to the Secretary of State (for organisations, politicians, etc to sign), ways to affiliate, personal testimonies from people suffering cold or in fire-risk buildings, and model motions for trade unions and political parties. In the last few weeks we’ve been working with Grenfell United to back up residents of an estate in Salford which has the same cladding and insulation as Grenfell. We expect to deliver the Open Letter in October, with a demonstration/event.
Please see what you can do – for the sake of both the people who must go to sleep in buildings that could go up in flames, and the people who may end up freezing next winter, as many did last year, when cladding has been removed and not replaced. The dangerous state of UK homes, old and new, is a national disgrace and an emergency. No more residents should pay for this with their health or with their lives.
In fact, we welcome help of all sorts, from joining our core team to spreading the word on social media or helping on a one-off basis, eg organising events, or going door to door on housing estates. Just get in touch and let us know, or come along to our AGM, we’ll be very glad to meet you!
Meanwhile, FPA still has no funding! We rely on voluntary labour (lots!) but also on the generosity and determination of our friends. A “donate” button can be found on our website here. We have made time to do some funding applications. Offers of fundraising events are also very welcome, and a good way of spreading the word, as well — we’d be glad to help.
* * *
On Drax, please share:
Hope to see you on 13 September – or to hear from you, before!