It’s summer time and although the cold might not be biting too hard right now, the bills still are in the form of fuel bill debt. A leading debt advice charity recently reported that in the last four years, it’d seen a 180% increase in people seeking advice about problems paying off their energy bills. This is no surprise, as our bills have grown seven times faster than income since 2004.
Fuel poverty is an issue that affects us all year round. This means that, despite the warmer weather, Fuel Poverty Action are keeping up our campaigning against the collusion of the Big Six and the government in driving up our bills.
In May, we supported Climate Justice Collective’s ‘Big Six Energy Bash’, which saw hundreds of people taking direct action against the UK Energy Summit, an exclusive corporate conference at which the Big Six energy companies were meeting with government representatives to ensure that energy policy remains in their interests, not ours. This was a really exciting day that allowed people to come together and directly confront the energy companies whose profiteering is driving up our bills, as well as heating up the planet.
Last week, we held a really successful info night, at which we were really happy to meet several new faces looking to get involved with our group. The night begun with a short presentation about the issues we’re campaigning on, what we’ve been doing and our plans for the future. Afterwards, we had an interesting discussion about the ways in which rocketing bills are affecting us, and how we can go about fighting this. The presentation we delivered was made with the intention of it functioning as an outreach resource that we could deliver to other groups, should they like to know a bit more about fuel poverty and our campaign. Get in touch if your group would like us to come along to a meeting, have a chat and deliver the short presentation. We’re hoping to make the presentation available on the website soon, so watch this space.
The info night was part of a broader outreach strategy. We’ve spent the past few weeks talking to lots of different groups, including those campaigning against the cuts, on disability rights and on housing issues, about coordinating our efforts. We’ll be building for a public meeting in autumn, which will hopefully allow lots of groups to come together and strategise about how we can work together better to make our fight against rising bills stronger. Follow @FuelPovAction on Twitter and check the website nearer the time for more details.
Finally, we’re about to launch a new community organising project in Haringey. The plan is to spend the summer talking to Haringey residents about their views on rising bills and what action they’d like to take. Then, in the Winter, we’ll be hoping to support collective community action. The project is a pilot – we’re hoping to learn lessons from this that can be applied to similar projects that will spread across London and, hopefully, nationwide.
In order to keep up our fight against fuel poverty and the collusion of the Big Six and the government in maintaining a profit-driven corporate monopoly, we need you to get involved. There are loads of ways to participate in our activities, from helping on outreach stalls in Haringey, to planning direct actions, to helping out with social media publicity. We welcome all new people, and take direction from the passions and ideas of everyone involved. To find out more, or to come to our next meeting, email [email protected]. And remember to follow @FuelPovAction on Twitter to keep up to date about fuel poverty and our campaign.