Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, this week accepted a hand knitted scarf from campaigners calling for more help for those struggling to keep warm this winter. The scarf was one of hundreds knitted by supporters of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign to mark “Cold Homes Week” – a series of events and activities designed to focus attention on the shocking state of many of the UK’s homes, and the terrible effect they have on the people left shivering inside them.
Cold Homes Week also saw the release of new fuel poverty figures showing 7 million people in England are in fuel poverty – that is they cannot keep their homes warm at a reasonable price. The figures includes 2.2 million children growing up in cold homes. The shocking figure is based on a new Government definition of fuel poverty for England which, when introduced, classified far less people as fuel poor than the previous definition.
The Energy Bill Revolution campaign has brought together almost 180 organisations, charities and companies to call on Government to do much more to help those in cold homes by providing far more support to insulation and energy efficiency schemes. The campaigners point to other countries, such as Sweden, where incomes and fuel prices are broadly similar to the UK, but better housing means far fewer people cannot afford to heat their homes.
The Energy Bill Revolution has identified billions of pounds in ‘carbon taxes’ already being paid by bill payers that currently disappears into the Treasury, and has called on Government to recycle this money into help for households to become more efficient. Such a policy would end fuel poverty in 10 years, and could also provide help for better off families to cut their bills.
Annette Brooke MP said, “I was very pleased to join campaigners from the Energy Bill Revolution campaign in Parliament this week to call for more help for those struggling with energy costs. Fuel poverty is a serious issue. It is vital to help people make their homes more energy efficient and to work towards affordable heat for everyone.”
Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy bill Revolution said: “We welcome Ms Brooke’s support for the Energy Bill Revolution. It is clear that the lasting solution to this crisis is to stop homes leaking heat. This must be UK’s number one infrastructure priority, it will save families hundreds of pounds on their energy bills and end fuel poverty once and for all.”