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Locals ‘Warm Up’ at Scottish Power HQ in protest against fuel poverty

Local campaigners and members of the community in Glasgow are warming up at the entrance to Scottish Power HQ in a protest to demand government action on rising fuel poverty in the UK. Some members of the group have sat down at the front of the building to ‘keep warm’ with blankets, sleeping bags and hot water bottles, while others are holding a rally outside displaying banners reading ‘Energy For All’ and ‘No New Oil & Gas’. Hot soup is being dished out to participants. The protest was one of several Warm-Ups taking place across the UK in towns and cities including Brighton, Bristol, Liverpool and London in support of both Fuel Poverty Action’s Energy For All campaign[1], and the Don’t Pay UK strike[2]. The Warm-Ups are part of the Warm This Winter coalition’s Day of Action on fuel poverty. [3] National Energy Action estimates that as a result of rising energy costs, around 2.2 million people have fallen into fuel poverty in the past year raising the total figure to 6.7 million [4] in the UK, expected to climb to 8.6 million when bills rise once again in April 2023 [5]. Earlier this year Energy Action Scotland estimated that this would apply to more than a third of the Glasgow population after rises last April. [6] James Grant, 60, who is participating said ‘I’ve cancelled my direct debit due to the profiteering of big energy suppliers and generators. This profiteering has led to people being denied their basic universal right to access energy. As these companies and the government are failing to keep us warm at home, we have the right to go where we want and keep warm together.’’ The Energy For All campaign calls for a universal, free amount of energy to cover people’s necessities like heating, lighting and cooking. This would be paid for by ending all public money going towards fossil fuel subsidies, windfall taxes on energy company profits and implementing higher tariffs on excessive, luxury energy use. A petition for the demand received over 650,000 signatures from the public [7], helping to prompt the Proposed Energy Equity Commission Bill in parliament. [8] Stuart Bretherton, Fuel Poverty Action, Energy For All Campaign Coordinator, said, ‘Energy For All would achieve what our energy system and economy should ultimately be geared towards, ensuring everyone’s basic needs are met. Ordinary people cannot keep footing the bill for crises created by the wealthy, it's time for the big polluters and profiteers to pay their share. Through this we could also incentivise much needed climate action on home insulation and a transition to renewables.’ For more information on Energy For All and all the actions taking place today contact e4a@fuelpovertyaction.org.uk.
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