Message from Richard Armitage, Calderdale Housing Energy Action Team:
Registrations for Calderdale’s Collective Energy Switch – which may save you money on your energy bills – close on Monday 8 April. Please click here for further details on how to sign up. If you need help to register online, just take your energy bills with you to one of the library drop in sessions at King Cross or Todmorden libraries from 10.30am – 2pm on Weds 3 April. When you get your new offer around the middle of April, you can decide whether it’s right for you. There’s no obligation if you don’t wish to take it for any reason.
The Energy Bill Revolution campaign is urging the government to use the money it gets from carbon taxes to make our homes super-energy efficient – driving down our energy bills forever. And also reducing household carbon emissions and the need for energy.
If you haven’t already signed the Energy Bill Revolution petition, you can do it here.
Fuel poverty is rising, but between 2009 and 2013 the Coalition government cut funding to help people in fuel poverty by 26%, and also cut the budget for energy efficiency measures for the fuel poor in England by 44%. (Information from Energy Bill Revolution campaign report.)
Graphic from Fact File:Families and Fuel Poverty, by ACE & Energy Bill Revolution
Please email email@example.com and ask him to sign Early Day Motion 47. This calls for Parliament to pass the Energy Bill Revolution proposal for the UK government to use the revenue from carbon taxes to pay for insulating people’s homes. Over the next 15 years, the government will raise about £4billion/year from the two main carbon taxes - the European Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Floor Price.
Using these tax revenues to pay for improving home energy efficiency would make the UK’s leaky houses warmer and healthier and reduce the UK’s energy use and carbon emissions. It would also bring nine out of ten fuel-poor households out of fuel poverty and create jobs.
In the last session of Parliament, one of the MPs in the Energy Bill Revolution alliance put forward Early Day Motion (EDM) 2769, which called for Parliament to pass the proposal. 121 MPs signed up to support the EDM. Craig Whitaker didn’t, although there are over 9,000 households in fuel poverty in this constituency and presumably he wants to do something about it. But he’s written to me saying he’s confident the Green Deal will reduce fuel poverty.
Recently companies that are members of the Green Deal Finance Company have written to Nick Clegg casting doubt on the Green Deal. The Green Deal Finance Company is supposed to provide the loans to households to enable them to pay for home energy efficiency improvements, but its members who signed the letter to Nick Clegg say they need another £240m from the Government and are “holding off further development” of their plans until they get it. Not all members of the Green Deal Finance Company signed the letter, but work on developing the scheme has stopped.
Now Parliament is in a new session, an MP has put forward EDM 47 (to replace EDM 2769). This is another chance for Craig Whittaker to do something that will definitely help reduce his constituents’ fuel poverty. 135 MPs have currently signed this EDM, and numerous charities and businesses support the campaign. It totally makes sense.
Craig Whitakker MP has replied to my request for him to sign Early Day Motion (EDM) 2769, which asks the UK government to end fuel poverty by funding energy efficiency measures for fuel-poor households, out of carbon tax revenues.
Mr Whitakker says he’s not signing EDM 2769 because he is “confident” that, between them, the Green Deal, the Renewable Heat Incentive and the new Warm Home Discount Scheme, “will address the challenges of fuel poverty and energy efficiency”.
In case you’d like to contact Craig Whittaker MP, his constituency and Westminster contact details are here.
Using shared buying power to drive a harder bargain with energy companies can work.
The Big Switch bid to get cheaper gas and electricity prices for households has accepted Cooperative Energy’s offer. This was the best offer from the various energy companies and looks set to save more than 280,000 households taking part a total of £25 million – with, on average, each household saving £123 a year.
38 Degrees and Which are working together to collect 200,000 signatures on the Big Switch petition.
You can sign it without committing yourself to anything. All a signature says is that you support 38 Degrees and Which in going to the Big Six Energy Companies to bargain with them, as one group, for a cheaper deal.
They need 200,000 people to sign the Big Switch petition before they go to the Energy companies.
If 38 Degrees and Which are successful in negotiating a lower price for gas and energy through the Big Switch, people who signed the petition will then be able to decide whether or not to sign up to the 38 Degrees/Which new lower-price gas and electricity deals.
A scheme like this has already worked in the Netherlands. 38 Degrees say that if they can make this BIg Switch deal work for a price reduction, they’ll then be in a position to make other deals with the big energy companies – such as requiring them to increase the amount of renewable energy they generate etc.
It would be good if they could work out a more sensible price structure too, as well as reducing the cost of energy. At the moment, people in fuel poverty, and others who use small amounts of energy, pay high prices per unit of energy they use, while people who use a lot of energy pay lower prices per unit of energy. This creates a perverse incentive to use more energy, since the price tariff is higher for low rates of energy use, and lower for higher rates of energy use. Daft or what?
Apart from Cooperative Energy, which has a single tariff regardless of the amount of energy a customer uses, Ebico is the only UK energy company I know about that sells electricity and gas at the same rate per unit to all customers within a given region.
Co-operative Energy has announced that it is to cut its prices to most of its 16,000 customers by an average of three per cent from February 1st, which will make Co-operative Energy cheaper than all the big six standard tariffs in all 14 regions.
Midcounties Co-operative launched Co-operative Energy in May 2011.