Following the Government’s disappointing response to the energy bills crisis gripping the country, the Warm This Winter campaign has called for a national Day of Action on fuel poverty on Saturday 3 December 2022.
Groups and communities will come together and stage Warm This Winter events and actions in villages, towns and cities up and down the country in a display of people power showing support for the solutions to the energy crisis that need to be implemented now.
The Day of Action will bring together people from across the poverty movement, health and disability campaigners, housing activists, environmental campaigners as well as those struggling to pay their energy bills.
In London and Stoke-on-Trent, larger scale events will mark the day focussing on telling the real-life stories of people who are facing fuel poverty this winter. These will include a rally in London’s Parliament Square and a public meeting at Stoke’s historic Fenton Town Hall; a venue close to streets with some of the highest levels of fuel poverty in the country.
On the day, leading campaign group Fuel Poverty Action will be sparking a series of “Warm Ups” across the country where people who can’t afford to heat their own homes will go into public buildings and keep warm collectively there.
In Cardiff, Climate Cymru will bring people together in solidarity with those in fuel poverty outside the Senedd all wearing yellow for warmth.
Parents for Future UK local groups will be taking the Warm this Winter campaign to events in their area on the day. Actions will include writing “keep us warm this winter” Christmas cards to the Prime Minister and local elected representatives as well as showing support for wind energy by creating pop-up wind farms.
People can register their event or find an event near them online at https://www.warmthiswinter.org.uk/day-of-action
Tessa Khan from Uplift and one of the organisers of the Warm This Winter Day of Action, commented:
People only need to look at their bills to know that the UK’s energy system is broken. This Day of Action is to give a voice to those who want change from this government. Instead of spending billions of our money subsidising gas fields and expensive gas imports, which will guarantee bills stay high for years, people want sensible, practical solutions to permanently lower our energy costs.
People want those in fuel poverty given the support they need to stay warm this winter; they want help to insulate their homes; and they want this government to unblock onshore renewable energy, which will provide our homes with cheaper energy for years to come. This is about coming together to tell the government to look after the needs of British people, and not the needs of wealthy oil and gas companies.
The End Fuel Poverty Coalition is supporting the Day of Action and a spokesperson commented:
People are already seeing for themselves the suffering caused by living in fuel poverty and it will just get worse as we get deeper into winter.
The Day of Action is a final chance for the UK Government to take notice of the problems caused by living in cold damp homes and pledge to do all it can to end fuel poverty once and for all.
Sana Yusuf, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said:
The last few years have been hard enough without throwing volatile energy prices and a recession into the mix.
The UK Government has had all year to come up with solutions to help people facing extortionate living costs, yet its financial support scheme is not nearly enough to stop millions going cold this winter.
Why there isn’t a plan to insulate UK homes and boost the production of renewable energy beggars belief. Both are popular with the public and can help to lower energy bills permanently.
If government inaction has done anything, it has galvanised local communities who are turning out today because they know a better way forward exists.
Ruth London from Fuel Poverty Action commented:
There is plenty of money to ensure that everyone can keep warm this winter. It just needs to be taken from the oil and gas giants that are taking it from us.
The Warm Ups will enable people to demand Energy For All, an end to the imposition of prepayment meters when people get behind on their bills, or whatever other demands local organisers choose to highlight. The tactic has been used many times by pensioners and others to speak out about the cold, damp conditions that threaten health and lives.
Bethan Sayed from Climate Cymru said:
We are experiencing a cost of living crisis, a climate emergency and an energy crisis and these crises are connected. As fuel and household bills continue to rise, many people are already facing tough choices.
In addition to supporting the UK wide movement, the Warm This Winter Wales campaign is also calling on the Welsh Government to help address these combined crises. On the day of action there will be different ways people can show their support, this includes wearing something yellow to symbolise warmth. Whether it’s a yellow hat or yellow jumper, or even bringing a yellow blanket or hot water bottle out with you!
Warm This Winter Wales will also be launching a petition on the day of action to ask the Welsh Government to act now and keep people Warm This Winter.