Sheffield climate campaigners call protest at huge hike in fuel prices

A protest has been called in Sheffield against the huge rises that people are facing in their energy bills this year.

By Julia Armstrong
Sunday, 6th February 2022, 8:23 pm

Sheffield Climate Change Umbrella Group, which led city protests against the Glasgow COP26 climate talks last November, have called the demonstration at 1pm on Monday (February 7) outside Sheffield Town Hall.

Energy firms regulator Ofgem raised the cap on average household energy bills by 54% to £1,971 last Thursday, meaning that many people will see big rises in their bills from April.

A representative from Sheffield Climate Campaign Coalition said: “Everybody has the right to a warm, dry home that they can afford to heat and power.

Many people are worried about big rises in their energy bills this year as a result of the increase in the energy price cap

“It is appalling that in England today there are millions of households living in fuel poverty (almost one in five of all households are already pushed into poverty because of the costs of meeting their basic need to keep warm).

“The fact that the price cap on the average fuel bill is to rise by 54 percent from £1,277 a year to £1,971 in April, which coincides with a substantial increase to National Insurance, will inevitably exacerbate the cost of living crisis many low and middle-income households are facing and will increase a further reliance on food banks and fuel vouchers – already at record levels.

Call to invest in renewable energy

“Chancellor Rishi Sunak, a multi-millionaire, has put his meagre measures in place to bail out the privatised firms in the hope that fewer people will default on their bills. These measures also only offset a portion of the cost and is in effect a loan that has to be repaid from people's bills in £40 instalments over the next five years.

The measures that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced to help people with soaring energy prices have been dismissed as 'meagre' by Sheffield Climate Campaign Coalition, who have called a protest

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“That is why the Sheffield Climate Campaign Coalition is calling on all trade unionists, climate campaigns, community, and faith groups to come together and protest to demand a comprehensive package of Government support to both address these high energy prices and improve the energy efficiency standards of our homes.

“This means investing in renewables and rolling out a huge home insulation programme which should coincide with the Government taking back from all the privatised firms into democratic public ownership. This is the only way to plan for an energy system that delivers power to people without outrageous bills and protects the environment.”