Fuel Poverty

Watch the talks from our recent public meeting, or scroll down for a summary and actions

The problem: huge price increases mean millions face fuel poverty

While many must choose between keeping warm or eating, the oil and gas companies receive massive subsidies even as they rake in record profits. Now the UK government wants new fields brought on stream rather than tackling our dependence on fossil fuels. This disastrous policy won’t work in the short term, and spells climate destruction in the long term. We need a radically new approach.

The alternative: our six key asks

Our recent public meeting featured speakers from Energy Action Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Just Transition campaign, and the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group. Together we decided on some key asks we believe are essential to tackle fuel poverty in a truly sustainable way:

  • A short, medium and long term energy strategy, not involving fossil fuels. Short term – meaningful support for rising costs; medium / long term involving energy efficiency* / renewables.
  • Upholding the commitment to no new oil / gas / fracking.
  • Wide scale electrification of the heating system.
  • Significant investment in renewables, domestic and large scale with storage, now.
  • Taxation on profits of the Big Six energy companies and Distribution Network Operators, providing investment for these asks.
  • Nationalisation of the energy sector – it is a public good which should be in public hands. It certainly should not be at the mercy of the open market.

*At the domestic level, improving energy efficiency implies a large-scale government-backed retrofitting programme to ensure all our homes are properly insulated. This would not only greatly reduce our individual fuel bills as we would have to use far less energy to keep warm, it would allow us to phase out fossil fuels at the speed the planet requires and create thousands of high quality jobs.

The next step: challenge our politicians to support us

Please use this list to challenge your local councillors ahead of the forthcoming elections.

Our key asks have also been transcribed into template letters for your local MSPs and MPs (some energy matters are not devolved). These should be amended with your details before sending; if you would like to make our points in your own words so much the better. MSPs/MPs can be contacted easily by email: find your MSP here, and your MP here.

Example letter to your MSP: download (Microsoft Word) or edit a copy (Google Docs)

Example letter to your MP: download (Microsoft Word) or edit a copy (Google Docs)

Further action will be discussed at forthcoming Coalition meetings, so please sign up and come along!

Help now if you’re facing fuel poverty

We know that there are many people facing fuel poverty right now who can’t afford to wait for government policy to change. If you are in this situation, we suggest looking at Energy Action Scotland’s For Households pages, where you will find a range of practical information and advice including recommendations for who to contact next. (See the video at the top of the page for the excellent talk given by EAS’ Frazer Scott as part of our public meeting.)

If you can, please do also join the Coalition, share your experiences and help us campaign for the commonsense policies that would both safeguard the climate and ensure nobody needs to face fuel poverty in the future.