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Disability Rights UK signs up to the Energy Revolution

Disability Rights UK is one of ninety charities, consumer groups, unions and businesses that have signed up to the new campaigning group: ‘The Energy Revolution’.

The background to the campaign, which was launched in a public event at the House of Commons on 20th June this year, is that 1 in 4 households in the UK are now in fuel poverty (this means that the members of the household need to spend more than 10% of their income on keeping their home warm). The twin causes to this are that fossil fuel (gas, oil and coal) prices are high, and the UK’s homes are some of Europe’s most energy inefficient; heat is unnecessarily lost through doors, walls, windows and ceilings.

People with disabilities are far more likely to be in fuel poverty. In particular, those people who are housebound will necessarily have larger fuel bills as they spend much longer in their homes. Furthermore, diseases such as asthma are made worse by cold or damp living conditions, which also increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. The significant help that is targeted at older people through Winter Fuel Payments is not available to younger adults and children with disabilities.

The situation is deteriorating: by 2016, as many as 1 in 3 households are projected to be in fuel poverty.

The Energy Revolution is proposing a fair and permanent solution to this crisis; for the Government to use the money it gets from carbon taxes to help make homes super-energy efficient.

The Government taxes large companies for the damage their carbon emissions cause to people and the environment. There are two main types of carbon tax: the European Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Floor Price. The companies eventually pass these taxes on to consumers, so that they eventually end up on our fuel bills. Estimates suggest that over the next 15 years the Government will raise an average of £4 billion every year in carbon taxes.

The Energy Revolution has calculated that there is enough carbon tax revenue to provide 600,000 fuel poor households each year with an average grant of £6,500 to install energy efficiency measures. This could include improving their insulation and installing modern boilers. The energy bills could be reduced by an average of £310 annually per household.

The Energy Revolution points out:

‘If the Government recycled this carbon revenue back to households, it could provide billions of pounds to help insulate the UK’s homes. The benefits would be immense. This could bring 9 out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty, lower people’s bills, cut carbon emissions AND create jobs. It’s time for an Energy Bill Revolution.’

For more information about the Energy Bill Revolution and the recent report on fuel poverty, visit: www.energybillrevolution.org

Energy Bill Revolution