Turning up the heat on the energy companies

It may be August, but we’ve just had our boiler checked for the coming year. And there’s a chill in the air as energy prices continue to rise.

This week the Sunday Express was even offering ‘have your gas bill paid’ as a competition prize.

We need a fairer deal for energy customers. A cross-party campaign organised by the Local Government Association is urging the Government to take more than £500M from the record profits of the six biggest energy companies to invest in a massive scheme to insulate half of all homes in England and Wales. In this first half of 2008 BP made a £6.7billion in profit – up 23%.

The Local Government Association hopes that the windfall tax would lift 500,000 people out of fuel poverty, knock £200 a year off the energy bills of ten million households, and cut domestic carbon emissions by 20%.

And I want local Labour MP Emily Thornberry to join me in backing the plan to raise £500 million from energy companies to fund a massive programme of home insulation.

Many Islington households are already paying over the odds for heating, while energy companies have benefited from a huge £9bn windfall: yet the Government does little or nothing to help. It’s desperately unfair.

A windfall tax on energy profits, to pay for energy insulation, would fight fuel poverty, improve homes and help tackle climate change.

All Labour offer is giving a few people a few extra pounds in the winter fuel allowance. We need real action from the Government now so that local residents don’t suffer more when winter comes.

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1 Comment »

  1. UK Voter said

    £500m would be a drop in the ocean. Insulating a home, in any event, is only half of the battle. Most homes need new or upgraded heating systems. For example, I replaced my 9 year old boiler for a new one and saved 24% on my gas bill, becaise the new one was so much more efficient.

    If the government impose a windfall tax, not only will it not be enough monetarily, but it will amount to a short term loan, because we will all have to pay the windfall back over the next couple of years through higher charges. Business is business after all.

    I agree, the government should be looking at the long-term value of insulation and energy saving initiatives ahead of fuel credit, but I think they should be looking to other areas of our budget for the money, rather than a windfall tax. A good start would be our overseas aid budget which currently stands at £5bn.

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