Campaign Collective supports the call for an Emergency Energy Tariff through its work with the Warm This Winter campaign.
The energy bills crisis is now predicted to be so severe that a wide range of health, poverty, housing and environmental organisations and academics have written to Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt MP, to request the introduction of an Emergency Energy Tariff.
The Emergency Energy Tariff would use the existing Energy Price Guarantee mechanism to fix the unit costs and standing charges for vulnerable groups at a lower level. Campaigners have suggested that this is fixed at the levels of energy bills in winter 2020/21, which would see eligible households’ monthly energy bills reduced by approximately £87 from current levels – a saving of around 46%.
The letter cites new research by the Warm This Winter campaign which shows that over a third (38%) of people from households where someone is under 5, pregnant, over 65 or with preexisting health conditions think they won’t or may not be able to afford to put the heating on at all this winter.
Almost two thirds (62%) of vulnerable households already want to put the heating on, but are worried about the cost.
A petition for the public to show support for the Emergency Energy Tariff has been launched on the Warm This Winter campaign website: https://www.warmthiswinter.org.uk/get-involved/emergency-energy-tariff-petition
Simon Francis, coordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, which is part of the campaign to introduce the Tariff, and founder member of Campaign Collective commented:
“The reality of this winter is that, without support, we will be a nation sheltering in warm spaces, cowering in one room of our homes or wrapped up inside like the michelin man. This should not be acceptable in a modern society.
“Failure by the Government to avert this cold homes crisis will lead to pressure on the NHS, a mental health catastrophe and additional winter deaths caused by living in cold damp homes.
“The proposed Emergency Energy Tariff is a specific, targeted, time limited and practically possible intervention which the Chancellor can make to send direct help to households who are most at risk of living in cold damp homes.
“The Government should meet with charities and industry to finalise the details of the proposal. It can then use the opportunity of the Autumn Statement to send a clear message to the public that Ministers understand their suffering and are prepared to help them stay warm this winter.”
Polling suggests that 83% of the public who have an opinion would support such a measure – with support consistently high among all demographic groups and all parts of the UK. The research also suggests that, among those who will have to cut back on essentials to afford their energy bills or can’t afford them, the plans for an Emergency Energy Tariff would provide them with enough financial support to enable them to avoid the worst of the winter crisis.
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