Burning Gas at Drax Power Station – Voice your Objections

Drax power station has applied to the Planning Inspectorate for permission to replace its two remaining coal-fired units with much larger ones burning fossil (natural) gas. You can read the full response we’ve submitted to this here.

If you agree that we should not allow Drax to increase carbon emissions by burning gas and wood biomass, you can help stop Drax’s proposed gas development by sending an objection to the Planning Inspectorate.
The deadline for responses is Wednesday the 29th of August at 11.59pm.
Further information and a model submission, which you can also sign on to, is at http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2018/drax-gas-alert/

 
 

Summer report – and object to Drax power station proposals!

Greetings!
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.
 
FPA Update:
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:
https://twitter.com/biofuelwatch/status/1021706758107156480
https://www.facebook.com/Biofuelwatch/posts/2149840821754870
Hope to see you on 13 September – or to hear from you, before!

FPA response to new proposals for ECO scheme

The government published proposals for the ECO (Energy Company Obligation) scheme due to come to force in October 2018. FPA wrote with our concerns that the proposals, by excluding oil, risk the lives of rural residents. We also prompted a personal response from an oil customer in a rural home with no other realistic way to heat his family’s home.  In August 2018 we learned that in a surprise change from their original consultation, BEIS have announced that they will continue to allow new oil boilers to be installed under ECO3  under the ‘Broken Boiler Cap’ (of 35,000 systems per year equivalent). BEIS expects that new oil boilers will be delivered mostly in rural areas. In addition, a 400% uplift will be available to provide support for the replacement of broken boilers (including oil-fired boilers) under the cap to low income, “vulnerable” and fuel poor households.
Read our letter to Claire Perry, the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth below:
Letter to BEIS on Oil and Fuel Poverty

Fuel Poverty Action Meeting 29th February (tomorrow!)

ice and fire logo
Tomorrow is FPA’s next regular monthly meeting. We’ll be focussing on a presentation of some research that we’ve done on fire safety and building regulations – what’s happened post Grenfell and what the law states. We’ve been trying to find out who is responsible and what can we do about it?
We’ll have a discussion about this, as well as some regular meeting points, including an update on what’s happening around London with district heating.
The meeting is at 7pm, at Crossroads Women’s centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, Kentish Town, NW5 2DX. Do come along!
 

Housing needs to be both safe and warm! Join our public meeting to make this a reality.

Housing Safety Post Grenfell Meeting Image
Book your free tickets on Eventbrite by clicking this link.
Following the Grenfell atrocity, many high-rise blocks have had their cladding and insulation removed, leaving thousands exposed to illness and death from cold. Last winter over 11,000 people died from cold homes. Like deaths from fire due to shoddy building standards and unaccountable public and private landlords, deaths from cold in this rich country are a shocking and unacceptable tragedy. Residents on many housing estates, new and old, are fighting for insulation – but it has to be safe!
At the same time more and more housing estates are being fitted with district heating networks. Communal heating could save both money and carbon but in practice it is unregulated and often done badly, leaving many residents cold and out of pocket. Also, without thorough inspection, pipes can be left with gaps around them that provide thoroughfares for fire and smoke.
This meeting will be a great opportunity to discuss what residents are demanding and can demand, and exchange ideas and experiences with housing activists, experts on insulation, construction and maintenance, and political decision-makers.
The meeting will be on 18th January, 18.30-21.30 at Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, NW5 2DX. The venue is wheelchair accessible.
Confirmed speakers include:
***Ishmael Francis-Murray, lifelong Lancaster West resident. Check out his documentary, Failed by the State (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tFPCUgjbfA).
***Cllr Emma Dent Coad, Labour MP for Kensington, and author of ‘After Grenfell: Housing and Inequality in Kensington and Chelsea, the most unequal borough in Britain’.
***Sian Berry, Green Camden councillor and London Assembly Member. As Mayoral candidate, Sian proposed free insulation for all homes.

***An architect from Concrete Action, an independent network of architecture professionals.

Book your free tickets on Eventbrite by clicking this link.