James Dowling shares the deep concerns faced by many over yesterday's huge energy price rises and argues that the poorest and most vulnerable people in our country must be shielded from the effects of these enormous price hikes.
Yesterday morning on April Fool’s Day I tweeted about the energy price crisis. Normally when I tweet about current affairs I will get one or two likes and a retweet here and there. However, within 24 hours of posting my tweet, it has been trending online, with over 4,000 shares and over 8,000 likes.
This is not an #AprilFools joke folks …
Energy price rises ⤵️
France 🇫🇷 = 4%
UK 🇬🇧 = 54%#EnergyPrices
— James Dowling (@JamesDowling02) April 1, 2022
This issue has struck a chord with many people (here and abroad), and I am left wondering how can we take action on this matter where there is such a strength of feeling. It is clear that, as a country - for the sake of our energy bills as well as our planet - our focus must be on energy reduction through better insulation; decarbonising the energy industry; improving efficiency; and cutting usage. And we need to do this by stopping fossil fuel use and continuing to oppose fracking – whilst investing in and supporting renewables.
In the meantime though, I believe that the number one priority here and now should be to ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable people in our country are shielded from the effects of these enormous price hikes. I seriously worry about people’s mental well-being at this time when their bills start landing on their doormats. I know from personal experience that close family and friends who are at home all day are utterly bewildered and genuinely frightened by their potential heating cost rises.
Someone replied to my tweet yesterday suggesting a yearly day of action from now on April 1st to remember the day that energy prices in the UK went up, in some cases, by 81% for gas and 35% for electricity, and how these price rises will continue to fund the profits of the energy company shareholders. We implore energy companies and Government to think about the people in our communities with disabilities, people of universal credit, people on low wages and zero hour contracts, people living alone and elderly people. Please reduce your profit margins to shield these people as a priority.
If the energy price rises are causing you difficulties please talk to someone - to family, friends, your local councillors, MP, your Council, Citizens Advice - and if you would like to tell us your experiences in the comments we can help to share it as part of our engagement on this important topic.
Follow me on Twitter at @JamesDowling02
More on the energy price rises
“People are already struggling under the rising cost of living and tomorrow will mark another blow to those who are forced to choose between heating and eating." - Read this statement from Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsey