We are facing an energy bill crisis, with millions of people struggling to heat their homes.
1 in 4 households in the UK are now in fuel poverty, meaning they need to spend more than 10% of their income on keeping their homes warm. The problem is likely to get worse, with 1 in 3 households projected to be in fuel poverty by 2016.
The main reasons for this crisis are that gas, oil and coal prices are high, and the UK’s homes are some of the most energy inefficient in Europe – leaking heat from their doors, walls and windows. This means they cost much more than they should to heat and power, and they contribute to climate change too.
Cold homes are damaging the health of vulnerable members of society, including children, older people and people with disabilities. Diseases such as asthma are made worse, and people are more likely to have strokes and heart attacks. Illnesses caused by cold homes cost the NHS nearly one billion pounds each year.
On average, at least 7,800 people die every year from living in cold homes – more than four times the number of people who die on British roads.
But there is a fair and permanent solution. We can have warm homes, reduce our fuel bills and cut carbon emissions.
The answer is for the Government to use the money it gets from carbon taxes to help make homes super-energy efficient – with excellent insulation, renewable energy and modern boilers.
Even though these things save money on energy bills and keep our homes warmer, many people simply can’t afford to pay for them – meaning they stay cold. That’s why the Government must provide more funding to help.
How will the Energy Bill Revolution work?
The Government taxes big companies for the damage their carbon emissions cause to people and the environment. There are two main carbon taxes: the European Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Floor Price. These taxes are used by the Government to help combat climate change and wean the UK off dirty fossil fuels.
That’s a good objective, but the money the Government receives isn’t being used to help people use less energy to heat their homes – which would cut carbon emissions even further AND cut people’s energy bills.
The companies eventually pass these taxes on to consumers and they end up on our bills. Over the next 15 years the Government will raise an average of £4 billion every year in carbon taxes.
If the Government recycled this carbon revenue back to households, it could provide billions of pounds to help insulate the UK’s homes. The benefits would be immense. This could bring 9 out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty, lower people’s bills, cut carbon emissions AND create jobs. It’s time for an Energy Bill Revolution.
This money could be used to help all households or just to support the most vulnerable. There is, for example, enough carbon tax revenue to treat 600,000 fuel poor households every year, providing each of them with a grant worth on average £6,500 to install energy efficiency measures. This would reduce their energy bills by an average £310 a year.
Recycling carbon revenue to make homes super-energy efficient could bring 9 out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty. It could also be used to quadruple savings in carbon emissions compared to the Government’s new energy efficiency schemes and create up to 200,000 jobs – exactly what we need to support the UK’s economic recovery.
Are you joining the Revolution?
The Energy Bill Revolution is a movement of people committed to ensuring warm homes and lower bills for all.
We are a public alliance, made up of children’s and older people’s charities, environment groups, health and disability groups, trade unions, consumer groups, businesses, politicians and public figures. To find out who’s on board, click here.
But most importantly, we are people like you. We can only create this Energy Bill Revolution with your support.