We need a real energy bill revolution

Jon Dale

Soaring prices of gas and electricity make the onset of winter a season of dread. So I was pleased to come across a campaign called Energy Bill Revolution – that sounds just what we need. “Sign our petition and join the revolution,” they say.

Launched in 2012, the campaign highlights that: “More fuel poverty means more people living in cold homes, further damaging the health of vulnerable members of society, including children, older people, and people with disabilities and illnesses.”

Their website has many facts to show the scale of fuel poverty and its effects. They call on the government to use the £4 billion carbon tax to make homes energy-efficient, leading to lower bills and creating 200,000 jobs.

The Energy Bill Revolution Alliance includes the TUC and trade unions Unite, Unison, GMB, PCS, FBU, UCU and the National Union of Students. Many charities are also involved.

But incredibly so are SSE, npower, E-on – the same energy companies hiking up their bills! How hypocritical of them to claim to support: “The only permanent solution to drive down energy bills and end fuel poverty.”

Carillion, a construction company in the spotlight of the anti-blacklisting campaign being fought by Unite and GMB members is also a signatory. Asda, part of the notoriously anti-union Walmart corporation, is there too.

Energy Bill Revolution is a public relations shield to these profiteering corporations, who weep crocodile tears about fuel poverty but are the cause of it.

Union members should call on their unions to stop backing this phoney campaign and instead campaign for renationalisation of the energy industry, with compensation only on the basis of need and under democratic workers’ control and management. That could start a real energy bill revolution.