(Photo Credit: Martina Gramazio)
Over forty events organised in the UK on Saturday, after a national day of action against fuel poverty was announced.
From Hastings to Glasgow and Cardiff to Norwich, people all over the UK have taken action against fuel poverty during the morning of December 3, 2022.
In London more than fifty people gathered in Parliament Square with orange hats and a giant scarf wrapped around their necks as a symbol of their demand to be warm this winter.
🚨 Today, as part of our national day of action, we’re right on the government’s doorstep in the heart of Westminster.
— Warm This Winter (@ThisWinterUK) December 3, 2022
A coalition of forty UK’s leading charities named “Warm This Winter” arranged the event, demanding immediate government action to lower energy bills now and in the future.
Amongst these charities there is Uplift, whose mission is to support the movement for a fossil fuel-free UK.
Founder and executive director of Uplift, Tessa Khan, said: “We are here to show our support to the millions of people who will be in fuel poverty due to the absence of affordable energy bills.”
Seven million households in the UK will be in fuel poverty this winter. From April 1, the typical energy bill is predicted to rise to over £4,000 a year, triple than what it was last year.
Warm This Winter has collected thousands of comments which demonstrates that people are experiencing real fear for the immediate future.
Amongst them there is Elizabeth, who said that at home she’s always sitting wrapped up in rugs, cardigan and thick slippers, as she can’t afford to turn the heating on.
Eleanor’s mental health is suffering as she has her family living overseas and she’s not able to visit them due to having to pay in energy costs.
Or also Hilary, who is a 72-years-old retired nurse struggling in her pension; she’s trying not to cook because she can’t afford it.
The cause of this crisis is considered to be the UK’s energy system. In fact, according to the campaigners, the Government would have all the means to guarantee the basic right of people to be warm in their homes.
Khan said: “The money we pay in bills is going straight to the profit of the oil and gas industry, which are raising prices using as an excuse the war in Ukraine.”
For this reason, Warm this Winter campaigners ask for immediate action for lower energy bills and warmer homes.
To make sure that nobody is in fuel poverty this winter, their main proposal is providing a free basic energy allowance to cover everyone’s necessities like heating, lighting and cooking.
Also, the campaign asked the government to incentivise a mass insulation programme, a transition to cheaper renewable and reduction in unnecessary energy use, and to stop fossil fuel subsidies.
Khan concluded: “Gas prices are predicted to stay high until at least 2025. It means that without actions energy bills will stay unaffordable for millions of people for years to come. Only the government can solve this crisis.”