To: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho
Caroline Lucas MP is hosting a debate on Fossil Fuels and Increases in the Cost of Living in Parliament at Westminster Hall on the 11th of January from 9.30am to 11am. It's a great opportunity for us to show MPs why fixing the cost of living crisis means taking the leap away from fossil fuels - and why it needs to happen now. But first, we need to get MPs in the hall.
Our energy system is broken. While energy companies continue to rake in profits, British people are facing another winter of unaffordable energy bills which are hurting people and businesses around the country.
With energy bills still double what they were two years ago, many millions of people are now worried about how they are going to afford to stay warm this winter. Already, over 5 million people are in debt to their energy supplier, some owing more than £1000 often through no fault of their own, and many more have been forced to borrow money to cover energy costs. The lack of an affordable supply of energy means that over a million children have already gone without heating, hot water and electricity this year. This cannot go on.
We are calling on the government to provide funding now for an Emergency Energy Tariff, as supported by leading UK charities. This would lower the cost of energy bills for people who are more vulnerable to the cold – particularly elderly and disabled people and families with young children – to help get them through this winter. To find out more about how an Emergency Energy Tariff would work, click here.
Failure by the Government to avert the energy crisis this winter will lead to even more pressure on the NHS, worsening mental health, and sadly additional winter deaths caused by living in cold damp homes. Government must act now.
The proposed Emergency Energy bills Tariff is a practical measure – specific, targeted, and time limited – which the Chancellor can introduce in his Autumn Statement (on the 22 November) to send direct help to households who are most at risk of living in cold damp homes.
As well as emergency energy support this winter, we need to see bills come down permanently, which is also going to require government action. The only way to do this is to expand programmes to properly insulate homes, so less heat is wasted, fit more heat pumps, which are cheaper to run, and build more homegrown renewable energy, so we can end our reliance on expensive gas.
As millions of households prepare for a miserable winter in cold damp homes, only the Government can now prevent a winter crisis.