End fuel poverty, back Cold Homes Week
This week has been Cold Homes Week, in which tens of thousands of people have been emailing their MPs, demanding an end to the scandal of cold homes. The week of action is led by the Energy Bill Revolution alliance, which includes leading unions such as the TUC, Unite, Unison as well as major charities such as Barnardo’s and Age-UK.
The campaign is calling on the Government to use carbon tax to make UK homes super energy efficient. The UK has among the worst insulated homes in Europe and unless our housing stock is fixed we will never solve the UK’s cold home crisis.
As a result of such poor insulation we have one of the worst rates of fuel poverty, secondly only to Estonia out of 27 European countries. It’s a shocking record and creates real suffering. There were 31,000 winter deaths last winter and many of these would have been prevented if people lived in well insulated homes.
It is not just older people who suffer. The Energy Bill Revolution has just revealed that at the start of 2014 there are 2 million children living in fuel poverty in England alone. And more and more families have to make the desperate choice between heating and eating. That is unacceptable for the UK, one of the richest countries in the world.
But there is hope. The Energy Bill Revolution alliance is the biggest fuel poverty campaign in the world, with over 100 leading UK charities and businesses on board. We want the UK to make home energy efficiency one of the UK’s priority infrastructure investments.
It is hard to think of an investment which could do so much. Using carbon tax to insulate homes could bring 9 out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty and in time provide financial support to help everyone reduce their energy bills. The average household could save over £300 every single year. It is the most affordable way to cut the carbon emissions driving climate change and would increase energy security be reducing the amount of gas we import.
And a ground-breaking study from Cambridge Econometrics tells us a big energy efficiency programme for UK homes could create 130,000 British jobs and more growth than any other investment. There is nothing to lose.
So join the revolution and take part in #coldhomesweek. We’ve convinced 228 MPs already – can we get yours too? Go to www.energybillrevolution.org and help end the scandal of cold homes once and for all.