FPA Educational Series

Fuel For Thought, from fuel poverty to climate justice.

Vested interests have shaped false narratives, spread misinformation and manipulated facts, perpetuating energy injustices and climate breakdown for decades. Fuel For Thought is a series of monthly sessions for collective learning to tackle lies: a space to share research and lived experience, clear up confusions, and answer questions.

Come along every third Thursday to gather the facts, figures and stories we need to shape our society into one that works for all people and the planet – from fuel poverty to climate justice.

Booking details will appear below a few weeks before each session.

Next Session

Session 9: Oil and War. Thursday June 20, 6.30pm.

Many people are being displaced and killed due to wars for energy and resources, in particular, but not exclusively, fossil fuels. Oil and gas fuel and fund militaries with guns and troops used to capture and defend reserves, and the huge revenues they represent. This vicious partnership sustains our dependence on dirty and unaffordable fuels and impoverishes populations, north and south – consuming vast resources that could go to health, housing, and to transition to a green economy.

At our ninth educational session we’ll be exploring the relation between energy, war and fuel poverty, with a special interest in Palestine and how to stop the cycle of violence.

Key questions we’ll be answering include:

  • What is the true cost of oil?
  • What is meant by “British interests”?
  • How can we understand the relationship between military power and energy?
  • Are oil and energy relevant to the ongoing crisis in the Middle East?
  • What can be done to shift us away from perpetual conflict driven by a thirst for energy?

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Adam Hanieh – Professor of Political Economy and Global Development at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS), University of Exeter. Adam is the author / co-editor of five books. His latest, ‘Crude Capitalism:Oil, Corporate Power, and the Making of the World Market’ will be published in September 2024.
  • Energy Embargo For Palestine / Disrupt Power – British-based anti-imperialist climate collective seeking to disrupt energy flow for the isolation of Zionism.

+ more to be announced

Go here to register and receive the Zoom link.

Future sessions:

Will going green make us poorer?: Costs to the economy, savings in cash and health and the money we currently spend on propping up fossil fuels.

  • What will it cost to transition the economy?
  • What would we save in cash and in health from better insulated homes and better heating systems? 
  • How are fossil fuels being subsidised from public funds?

Past Sessions:

Session seven: Resisting Expansion: Tales from the UK’s fossil fuel frontline – 16th May, 6.30pm

Missed the session? Watch the recording here.

How are we still here? At our eighth educational session “Resisting Fossil Fuel Expansion in the UK” we heard from campaigners and activists from across the UK working tirelessly to challenge and reduce the dominance of oil and gas and new projects.

We dove into the falsehoods of energy security and the licencing bill going through Parliament, which won’t lower our bills, we discussed how new oil and gas projects, Rosebank and Peterhead, were being pushed using debunked environmental claims, how our elected representatives are taking money from oil and gas, while this government has been actively persecuting people who challenge the dominance of oil and gas.

Speakers:

  • Alex Lee – Climate campaigner, Friends of the Earth Scotland
  • Suzi Shingler – Campaign Manager, Uplift & Stop Rosebank campaign
  • Rosie Hampton – Just Transition Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Scotland
  • Megan – Climate Resisitance & Stop Polluting Politics campaign
  • Harley – Just Stop Oil

The questions we’ll cover include:

  • Why wouldn’t more oil and gas wouldn’t lower our bills?
  • Why does “energy security” distract us from energy justice and climate justice?
  • Who are the politicians supporting the oil and gas energy system and rising energy bills, and why are they doing it?
  • How is new oil, gas and coal being resisted?
  • What’s the role of resistance in securing better jobs for workers?
  • How are people being silenced?
  • How has attachment to oil and gas affected Scottish climate policy?

Don’t miss this important conversation!

Session seven: Heat Networks, the marmite heating solution – 18th April, 6.30pm

Missed the session? Watch the recording here.

Heat networks, sometimes known as “district heating” are being heavily promoted by the government as a a low carbon, low cost way of heating housing estates or individual blocks. Many people have found it fulfills that promise, but others have faced constant outages without heat or hot water, no control, and astronomical prices. What’s going wrong? What can residents do about it? Since heat networks have been unregulated, will the coming regulation solve the problems?  If you can’t keep up with heat charges, could you lose your home?​

Session six: Public Ownership, how to do it? 21st March, 6.30pm

Missed the session? Watch the recording here.

At our sixth learning session “Public Ownership, how to do it?” we’ discussed the ins and outs of public ownership of energy including the different pathways to public ownership of energy systems, the links between public ownership and social and environmental justice and fuel poverty and the role community ownership has to play. Below are the first questions we covered in the session.

  • What does public ownership of energy actually mean?
  • What are the pathways to public ownership?
  • Why is public ownership essential to a just transition for people, workers and the environment?
  • How can public ownership reduce fuel poverty?
  • What’s the role of community ownership and how does it work in practice?
  • Why promote public ownership beyond our own borders?

Session five: Robbing the Poor – 15th February, 6.30pm

Missed the session? Watch the recording here.

At our fifth session we talked about in-work fuel poverty, energy debt, disability and pensioners experience of poverty and how the government actively undermines our ability to live warm and what we can do instead to keep each other safe. Below are the first questions we covered in the session.

  • Can we really rely on the government in our time of need?
  • Why can’t working people pay their energy bills?
  • Why are record numbers of people borrowing money to pay their bills?
  • Why are people with disabilities left in the cold?
  • How have people in poverty and people with disabilities fought and won – and how can that continue?
  • How are the people robbing the poor also thrashing the planet?

Speakers included:

  • Ellen Lebethe – Vice-President of National Pensioners Convention (NPC); Chair of London Ethnic Minorities Group and Lambeth Pensioners Action Group
  • Paula Peters – Disability Rights Activist with Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)
  • Alex Considine – Organiser with Don’t Pay UK and Extinction Rebellion; Fuel Poverty Action member
  • Stephanie Martin – Organiser with Unison and Morning Star Women Readers & Supporters Group (Scotland)

Session four: Retro-fit for the Future – 18th January, 6.30pm

Missed the session? Watch the recording here.

  • What does retrofitting mean, is it expensive and who should pay for what?
  • Can home retrofit relieve fuel poverty, tackle energy debt, improve well-being and reduce the impact of housing on the climate?
  • What does safe insulation look like for residents, workers and the planet?
  • How do we ensure safe insulation is installed after removing dangerous cladding?
  • How can we organise to retrofit homes across the UK?

Speakers included:

  • Scott McAulay – Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN); Anthropocene Architecture School
  • The Wyndford Residents Union (WRU) – a community union for residents of the Wyndford housing scheme in Glasgow, currently running a campaign to refurbish, not demolish, 600 social homes that could be used for tackling homelessness and housing refugees.​
  • Dr Isobel Braithwaite – a Public Health Doctor, currently doing research on Housing and Health. Isobel has worked as a medical doctor and on public health issues including climate change and extreme weather, air pollution and mental health.
  • Maria Carvalho – is a campaigner and organiser at the health justice charity, Medact​. She leads on supporting the health for a green new deal​ network, a community of health workers bringing the health voice to local and national campaigns for climate justice.​
  • Graeme – a longstanding member of FPA – with Eddie who’s been working with him on the cladding and insulation and many other issues in the Pendleton estate in Salford.

Session three: Plenty of MoneyDoes the UK really need to make “hard choices” because of a shortage of funds? – 14th December, 6.30pm

Missed the session? Watch the recording here.

  • Is it true that the UK’s short of money and all of us must make “hard choices” to pay for a green transition?
  • Why should we be poorer than a decade ago?
  • Where is our money going?
  • How can we get it back?

Speakers included Lord Prem Sikka, on how “taxpayers’ money” is actually used, and what he thinks it should be spent on instead if we are to tackle the multiple crises the country is facing. We also heard from Ben Martin from Payday network on military spending and environmental degradation and Alex Chapman from the New Economics Foundation on money spent on fossil fuels and how to get it back.

Session two: Heat and Light are Basic Rights fighting back forced prepayment meter installations – 16th November, 6.30pm

Missed the session? Watch the recording here.

  • Are new protections sufficient, or will people die as a result?
  • How did we win the suspension last year, in PPM imposition?
  • If water suppliers can’t disconnect, or impose prepayment meters, why should other utilities be able to do this?
  • How can we bring that ban back – for good, this time?

Fuel Poverty Action has been actively fighting forced prepayment meter installations since 2016. Energy firms leave our homes, children and relatives out in the cold while hoarding profits over our bodies – sick and and dying from cold-related diseases. Here’s a Living History of the fight against forced prepayment meter installations:

  • February 2016 – FPA and ally organisations deliver testimonies on prepayment meter (PPM) impositions to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) protesting the extra £300/year charged to PPM users. Following this, the surcharge was progressively reduced.
  • May 2016 – FPA interrupt British Gas AGM, reading a letter from a disabled woman forced onto a PPM.
  • December 2023 – inews begins reporting on forced PPM installations perpetrated on a massive scale by energy firms while energy prices soar and temperatures plummet. 
  • January 2023 – FPA and supporting organisations hold Warm-Ups and winter deaths vigils in towns and cities across the UK, forcing a temporary ban on the forced installation of PPMs.
  • February 2023 – FPA speaks at launch of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on PPMs.
  • July 2023 – surcharge on PPM tariffs finally removed: there was no need after all to charge PPM users more than people on credit meters.
  • November 2023 – Homes in England and Wales are expected to see the reinstatement of the practice of forced PPM installations as temperatures drop.

Session one: The Truth About Energy Pricing – 26th October, 6.30pm

Missed the session? Watch the recording here.

For the launch session of Fuel For Thought, we’ll be in conversation with Fuel Poverty Action’s Policy and Parliament lead, Jonathan Bean, to discuss the ins-and-outs of energy-pricing in the UK today.

  • Why did energy prices suddenly go through the roof? Is it really down to the war in Ukraine?
  • Who has collected and got rich off the money from our bills?
  • Why are electricity prices pegged to the price of gas, when renewables are 9 times cheaper?

More resources for The Truth About Energy Pricing:


This project is unfunded. While the sessions are free, donations are warmly appreciated (please add a note – ‘for Fuel For Thought’and will enable us to broaden the reach and scope of the sessions.