By Joshua Robinson –
Unite Community held a demonstration in Huddersfield on Friday 1st December to demand government action to end fuel poverty.
Similar events took place across the country as part of the Energy 4 All Campaign, including other organisations like Fuel Poverty Action.
The demonstration lasted from 12 to 1 pm on Friday at Kingsgate, King Street, HD1 2QB.
Energy 4 for All was launched earlier in November and is calling for all households to be guaranteed enough energy to cover essential needs.
The campaign is also calling for the public ownership of energy distribution networks, domestic power suppliers, and the North Sea’s reserves of oil and gas.
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “No one should live in fuel poverty. But because of the greed of the energy profiteers over the last two years, millions of people have faced crippling bills.”
The campaign is encouraging people to enter public spaces to keep warm together in order to highlight the need for action on fuel poverty.
The demands of the Unite for Energy for All campaign include:
- An end to fuel poverty – with every household receiving a free amount of energy to cover basic needs.
- Government support for home insulation.
- An end to forced disconnections and the force-fitting of prepayment meters.
- Fair energy pricing.
- Public ownership of energy.
Last year private firms made £45 billion profit from the UK domestic energy system. Unite says that if that money had been kept in public hands, it could have been used to save each household £1,800 on energy bills.
Unite Community Activist Holly Donovan said: “Energy For All is calling for radical reform to our energy pricing system. Under our current system those who use more energy pay less per unit than those of us who are tightening our belts and cutting down on energy use. This is clearly upside down and unjust.”
Fuel Poverty Action’s John Whitcher said: “Support from Unite Community and other movements can help to protect lives this winter. Fuel Poverty Action will be carrying out further protests this week as we expect government decisions on the return of forced prepayment meter installations. This practice is the polar opposite of Energy For All, we need to end policies that punish people in fuel poverty.”
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