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Public back fresh thinking to fuel poverty crisis

Over 110,000 people have already signed a petition calling for the government to help keep households Warm This Winter.

The petition was only launched as the Ofgem price cap for this winter was confirmed at record levels.

The Warm this Winter campaign demands that the government provides more emergency money for people this winter, funding to help everyone cut their bills with better insulation, and rapidly moves the country away from expensive gas and onto cheaper, renewable energy.

The figures come as a new report by University College London’s Institute of Health Equity (IHE) predicts “a humanitarian crisis’ for children stuck in cold homes and reveals the public health crisis fuel poverty will cause. Meanwhile, the Resolution Foundation has warned that the next prime minister’s time in office looks set to be dominated by the “terrifying” prospect of the biggest squeeze in living standards for a century.

Tessa Khan, Director of Uplift, which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, said:

“While the leadership candidates fall back on the failed fossil fuel solutions of the past, the public are demanding fresh thinking.

“The thousands of people who have signed the Warm This Winter petition are proof that the public want both short term and long term solutions to the fuel poverty crisis.

“We need to reject expensive, dirty, fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy and improved energy efficiency of buildings, alongside immediate financial support this winter.”

Ruth London from Fuel Poverty Action, commented:

“Energy producers and suppliers are making record profits from putting up prices to a level that millions will struggle to pay.

“The result will be many thousands of deaths in cold damp homes, widespread health crises, cold and hungry children unable to play or do homework, and older people who can’t be discharged from hospital because their homes are not fit to live in. 

“The present pricing framework is upside down: the poorest customers pay the highest prices. Our Energy For All proposal would reverse this: each household will receive enough energy to cover its basic needs, paid for by higher prices for profligate energy use, and reversing the flow of taxpayers money to fossil fuel profiteers.”

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition commented: “The public is clamouring to be kept Warm this Winter and we need to see more emergency money for people this winter, funding to help everyone cut their bills with better insulation, and a rapid move away from expensive gas and onto cheaper, renewable energy. Without urgent Government action, the impact of rising levels of fuel poverty on our nation will be profound and devastating.”