The present energy pricing system is leaving thousands each year to die of cold (1) and despite a government hand-out millions are in fear of next winter.
Fuel Poverty Action has long been advocating a free band of energy to every household to cover basic needs like keeping the lights on, keeping warm, and running a fridge. This would be paid for by higher prices for people who use more than they need, by windfall taxes (2) while prices and profits are so high, and by a permanent end to the subsidies paid to fossil fuel corporations, now worth billions of pounds.
This plan has the support of over 400,000 signatories on a change.org petition (3).
And now nationwide polling has found that three quarters of the population support the right to free energy to meet people’s basic needs. Only 10% opposed it. The poll was conducted by ICM, with a representative sample of 2000 British adults,10th – 12th June 2022.
An even higher number – 81% – support abolition of the standing charge – the daily charge of around 44p per day on every customer’s energy bill, which must be paid regardless of how much you use. Only 8% want this charge to stay.
FPA have written to Ofgem (4) about the way the costs of failing suppliers have been loaded onto the standing charge – the part of the bill that nobody can avoid – which FPA says is a “grotesque injustice”.
Fuel Poverty Action’s Ruth London says,
“The standing charge is even higher in some parts of the country, and it mounts up frighteningly quickly. People on prepayment meters are often forced to find money to pay this charge before they can even turn the lights on. People who cut their use down to the bone in a bedsit end up paying more per unit of energy than those who are heating a mansion.
Energy For All would reverse this perverse system that incentivises waste and clobbers the people who can least afford it. It would finally give energy security where we most need it – at home. And it would press the government to finally fix the UK’s notoriously badly insulated housing (5) and turn to cheaper, more sustainable sources of energy, like solar power and wind.
For media enquires please contact:
- https://www.nea.org.uk/news/271120-01/ On average, over 10,000 people each year are believed to die from cold homes in the UK. This figure predates the Covid pandemic and the fuel price crisis.
- See our comments on the government’s oil and gas “levy” here: https://www.fuelpovertyaction.org.uk/windfall-tax/