Families must not be forced to choose between putting food on the table and heating their homes
The price of gas has sky rocketed since the start of the year.
But while the newspapers focus on energy firms going bust, the real damage will be felt by ordinary Britons all over the UK.
Millions of people every year face the dilemma between heating their home and putting food on their tables. And the number of people affected will increase even further due to the current crisis.
The poorest will be hardest hit by the energy price crisis
This couldn’t come at a worse time. The financial impacts of Covid-19 are still being faced by millions of people across the United Kingdom.
October marks the beginning of the ‘heating season’ - the period where we use the most energy - but this year UK households will be hit twice as hard as the price cap we pay for energy is being lifted on 1st October. This will mean that we will see almost half a million additional households realise they can’t pay their bills.
At the same time, millions of people across the UK will also see a reduction in their incomes, as furlough winds down and the £20 uplift to Universal Credit will likely be taken away.
Northern Ireland is not covered by the cap but has not escaped the pain either. Consumers there are facing an immediate increase in gas bills of up to 35%.
This ‘toxic’ combination of higher prices and reduced incomes, will mean spiralling levels of debt, cold and unsafe homes, distress and anxiety as well as hugely unwelcome strain on our stretched health and social care staff.
And families in the cold have increased risks of suffering the worst effects of respiratory illnesses, such as Covid-19.
Help us call on the government to Fix the Fuel Poverty Crisis before winter strikes
There must be urgent financial support put in place to ensure people don’t have to choose between heating and eating this winter.
The government must also rapidly deploy programmes to improve the energy efficiency of homes - like providing insulation for social housing across the country.
Only through a combined package of measures can we prevent the autumn energy crisis leading to people entering a winter wilderness of poverty.
Time is quickly running out for the government to act - and so we are crowdfunding to help us ramp up our campaign.
End Fuel Poverty Coalition is a broad coalition of over 20 anti-poverty, environmental and health campaigners, local authorities, trade unions and consumer organisations.
Members of the Coalition include: ACRE, Advice 4 Renters, AgeUK, Austerity Action Group, Association of Local Energy Officers, Association for Decentralised Energy, Brighton & Hove City Council, British Lung Foundation, Camden Federation of Private Tenants, Church Poverty Action, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Community Action Northumberland, Centre for Sustainable Energy, Disability Rights UK, E3G, EBICO, Energy Cities, Energy Saving Trust, Friends of the Earth, Fuel Poverty Action, Generation Rent, Greenpeace, Hackney Foodbank, Home Start Oxford, Lambeth Pensioners Action Group, London Borough of Camden, London Borough of Lewisham, Mayor of London, National Pensioners Convention, National Union of Students / Students Organising for Sustainability, National Energy Action, National Federation of Womens' Institutes, NCB, Oxford City Council, Redcar & Cleveland Council, Solutions to Tackle Energy Poverty (STEP), Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations, Stonewater Housing Association and UNISON. The co-ordination for the Coalition is provided by social enterprise Campaign Collective. Funds raised will be transferred by Crowdfunder to Campaign Collective for use in the campaign, which is overseen by a committee made up of Coalition members.
From all of us on the Coalition - thank you for your overwhelming support on this campaign so far.