Birmingham Friends of the Earth press release
Embargo: For immediate release, Tuesday 2 August 2011
Contact: Joe Peacock, 0121 6326909 email@example.com
Bolder action is needed to protect Birmingham’s residents from rocketing fuel bills caused by hikes in gas and electricity prices according to campaigns group Friends of the Earth.
With 20% of the city’s residents in fuel poverty and charities offering advice being swamped by people facing financial ruin because they cannot pay their fuel bills, the green group says there is no time to waste to avoid unnecessary suffering and more people being dragged into fuel poverty.
The group is calling for a joined-up approach to be adopted urgently in order to make sure vulnerable people are given help in dealing with cold homes.
Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigner Robert Pass said “The Government has let the people of this country down by continuing to invest in old technologies like oil and gas when we need to secure our energy future and sort out poorly insulated homes.
“The council has started work with its Energy Savers scheme, but we must do more to make everyone’s homes more efficient and put power back into the hands of the people by helping communities to generate their own green energy.
“Only a switch to clean British power and slashing energy waste will cut fuel bills and secure our energy in the long run. In the short term, we need a concerted effort to help those identified by the Citizens Advice Bureau and other agencies so they are able to heat their homes and run essential electrical items.”
Notes to editor
The Birmingham Mail reported on Citizen’s Advice Bureau concerns over fuel poverty: http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2011/08/02/birmingham-families-are-too-poor-to-turn-on-fridge-97319-29159449/
2. Between 1999 and 2009 UK gas prices for domestic consumers increased by 104 per cent: http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Statistics/publications/brief/190-uk-energy-in-brief-2010.pdf (page 35)
Friends of the Earth wants the Energy Bill currently going through Parliament to ensure that all councils have a climate change strategy, bring forward to 2016 the proposed minimum energy efficiency standard for rented homes, and introduce compressive energy efficiency strategy which is sufficient to meet carbon targets and end fuel poverty.
Last week Friends of the Earth welcomed a report by MPs calling for an end to “Del Boy” sales tactics by the major energy companies selling energy tariffs door-to-door: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/energy_companies_25072011.html
5. Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigns on many environmental issues on a local, national and international level. They hold regular campaigns meetings on Monday evenings at 7.30pm: https://birminghamfoe.org.uk/