10 reasons the energy system isn’t working for us (or 10 reasons why we need affordable, clean and fair energy now)
1) COLD HOMES
1 in 4 of us are living in ‘unacceptably cold homes’ (bbc.in/1hy0Uec)
2) MASSIVE BIG SIX PROFITS
The Big Six Energy companies made £3.7bn TOTAL profit in 2012;
In 2013 their average profit was £105 per household– it was £30 3 years ago (ind.pn/1mdOMSN)
Outgoing Centrica (that’s British Gas’ parent company) CEO Sam Laidlaw made over £4million last year (bit.ly/1lld3rS)
3) HOUSEHOLD DEBT
With the average energy bill now at £1400, 20% of households- that’s 5 million homes- are currently in debt to their energy supplier.
4) WINTER DEATHS
There were 31,000 Excess Winter Deaths in the winter of 2012. Atleast a third of these (so around 10,000 people) can be attributed to cold homes and fuel poverty.
5) CHILDREN’S HEALTH
Teenagers born into damp and cold homes are 5x more likely to suffer from multiple mental health problems, whilst children are twice as likely to suffer from a variety of lung conditions. (bit.ly/1mAIUDh)
6) PREPAYMENT METERS…
About 7 million households now have prepayment meters (PPM). It typically costs 9% more to be on a meter and by payment type prepayment meter users are most likely to be in fuel poverty.
7) …WORSEN POVERTY
In a Citizens Advice Bureau survey of PPM users 75% of Prepayment Meter user respondents said they found it difficult to pay for gas and electricity & 64% said they found it difficult to pay for food.
8) THE GOVERNMENT BLAMES INSULATION AND RENEWABLE ENERGY COSTS BUT…
Without a package of insulation and renewable measures will mean bills will be £166 higher by 2020. This is because it will reduce reliance on gas prices, which have been rising steadily.
9) THE GOVERNMENT KEEPS SPENDING OUR MONEY ON EXPENSIVE AND POLLUTING ENERGY
For every $1 spent to support renewable energy, another $6 were spent on fossil fuel subsidies, (bit.ly/1dbVEsR)
10) AND THEN KEEP BANGING ON ABOUT FRACKING, EVEN THOUGH IT WON’T BRING DOWN THE BILLS
From the Chairman of fracking company Cuadrilla to even the Chancellor George Osborne: they have all said fracking won’t bring down the bills.
So why does the government keep banging on about this risky, unpopular and polluting energy?
What can we do about it?
We know the government currently isn’t interested in the solution and we know all the Big Six are interested in is lining their pockets.
But we also know an affordable, fairer, sustainable energy system is possible.
Polls showing 68% of people want energy in public hands and over 80% support renewable energy. There are lots of cities around the world that have not-for-profit energy systems and we can have them too. Good insulation in homes can save us all hundreds of pounds a year, and will save lives- and it isn’t that expensive to do.
There are lots of organisations out there can help you if you’re in debt to your energy supplier or you don’t want a prepayment meter put in. We can help and so can organisations like Turn2Us.
There’s growing numbers of us: pensioners, women’s groups, disabled activists, people in debt to their supplier who all want to take action on energy. It’s time to fight for an energy system that does work for us. We’ll be at the British AGM in May this year to protest for that energy system. More details will be released soon, join us there, or get involved now firstname.lastname@example.org .