Press Release: TUC backs a free band of energy

TUC  backs demand for free energy to cover basic needs. 

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has come out in favour of a free band of energy, paid for by higher tariffs for “profligate” energy users!

The energy prices being forecast for this autumn are simply unpayable. They would cause debt, hunger, and even more thousands than usual dying of cold this winter.  But as a new report from the TUC points out, this deadly predicament facing UK households is “not inevitable”.  

Ruth London from Fuel Poverty Action says, “We agree with the TUC –: State handouts and tweaking the system are no solution to a disaster on this scale. Fundamental changes are necessary, and urgent. Competition in the energy market has not worked –- it has been a disaster.  Energy is a right. It should be in public hands and distributed fairly, to warm, safe, well insulated homes”.  

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has for the first time backed Fuel Poverty Action’s demand for  a free band of energy to every household to cover basic lighting, heating and cooking needs like keeping the lights on, keeping warm, and running a fridge. This would be paid for by charging for energy used beyond a certain high-usage threshold at a significantly higher rate, so that very profligate energy users pay more per unit. (1)

Fuel Poverty Action say further funds should come from windfall taxes and an end to the millions of pounds of public money now spent every day on subsidising gas and oil.  That would ensure that everyone would have enough for their needs, taking account of housing conditions and their health and age. 

This demand has been gathering support at a speed that no one expected.  Our petition has 407,000 signatures.  In a nationwide ICM poll,  75% of the population supported a free band of energy, with only 10% opposed.  

The silence from the government poses a question: “What are they waiting for?”  


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  1. Full report here:
  2. Executive Summary:
  3. Energy Live News:
  4. The Canary: