The energy crisis at Rishi Sunak’s front door

A photo of a woman handing a letter to a man in police uniform in the doorway of Number 10 Downing Street. The woman also holds a box with a sign reading “807,893 people say Fix our broken energy system”.
December 15, 2023
Almost a million people are demanding action on our broken energy system.

On Tuesday, partners across the Warm This Winter coalition united to deliver a message to 10 Downing Street.

Representatives from Warm This Winter,, Debt Justice, 38 Degrees and Fuel Poverty Action went to the Prime Minister’s front door to deliver four petitions, representing more than 800,000 people demanding action to help people afford energy and fix our broken energy system.

We were joined by Raymond, Kay, and Tina, members of the 38 Degrees, Debt Justice, and Fuel Poverty Action communities respectively, who are feeling the worst impacts of this crisis.

Here’s what Raymond had to say:

“I feel let down by this Government. Each year I am colder, struggling more and with less support. I am blind and the devices I use to help me get through life daily take a lot of electricity to charge. My partner has health issues that means we HAVE to be warm and we’re choosing between heating, charging the devices that help me live my life and eating. It's no way to live. All I ask from Rishi Sunak and his Government is to fix this broken energy system.”

Kay commented:

“Lack of government support and energy company profiteering means that this Christmas I have a choice between going into debt or living in a cold damp home. It is an impossible choice and only government action can solve the crisis.”

What exactly was each petition asking?

  • Warm This Winter &’s petition calls on the government to introduce an Emergency Energy Tariff to directly lower the cost of energy bills for those who need it most this winter. Over 40,000 people signed in a matter of days, showing how pressing the need for support is in the run-up to Christmas.
  • Debt Justice’s petition asks the government to act urgently to bring down bills and help families get out of debt, by capping energy bills and writing off energy debts, and was signed by over 17,000 people.
  • Fuel Poverty Action’s petition with over 660,000 signatures calls for Energy For All - the guarantee of enough energy to cover the basics like heating, cooking, and lighting, for free.
  • 38 Degrees’s petition calls on the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to provide energy bills support this winter, and gained over 88,000 signatures.

What does this say?

The sheer volume of people who are demanding action to help with energy bills should be a crystal clear signal to Rishi Sunak that the cost of energy is at the top of the agenda for people around the country. The energy crisis is still not over - people need support right now, and we need action that will bring down bills permanently. 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.
After handing the petition over, we gathered in Parliament Square with a giant energy bill prop to highlight how the issue is looming large for people this winter.
A closer look at the "Unaffordable Energy Bill"

What’s next?

Next year will be a big one for UK politics, and with your help, we’re going to keep fighting to make sure building a better energy system that works for all of us is a top priority. 

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