Kent Green Party recently investigated fuel poverty policies of local councils in Kent and Medway, critical for protecting the poor from rising energy bills. Unfortunately, the Government’s new Energy Bill (1) promises higher energy prices for consumers to help subsidise nuclear power in particular. Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party, explains:
“Kent Green Party has campaigned for the relief of fuel poverty for many years. Our recent survey of local council policies in Kent and Medway is one small part of that effort(2). We very much regret that the Government’s new Energy Bill will push up energy prices for consumers when wages, pensions and benefits are declining for many households throughout our County. Over the next 20 years, energy prices may double if these proposals go through (3) A massive negative reaction from campaigning groups and charities and from the Renewable Energy industry is already evident (4).
“In Kent and Medway, our collective response must be to insulate all buildings as soon as it is practical and introduce safe energy technologies such as solar panels and solar water heating systems to cut energy bills significantly for all energy users. If this is not done, households, hospitals, schools and businesses will find more money being leached away by energy bills each year, especially for nuclear subsidies(5).
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Stuart Jeffery, Chair, KENT GREEN PARTY
07970 436029 or 01622 808370. Contact address as above. http://www.stuartjeffery.net KENT GREEN NEWS, free monthly ezine, is available at www.kentgreenparty.org Published by Kent Green Party and promoted by H.Dawe, both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.
1. Draft Energy Bill: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm83/8362/8362.pdf and see: Government announces biggest energy reforms in 20 years http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/22/government-announces-energy-reforms
2. 2. SEE press release on this topic: www.kentgreenparty.org
3. 3. The Times 23rd May 2012 http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/utilities/article3422190.ece
4. 4. For example: Caroline Lucas MP: http://www.carolinelucas.com/cl/media/governments-biased-energy-plans-ignore-potential-of-efficiency-and-community-ownership.html Also, there seems to be a consensus, particularly among environmental groups, that the bill will largely favour the nuclear and gas industries. Guardian 22nd May 2012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/may/22/energy-bill-gas-carbon-targets?intcmp=122#block-16 AND the bill faced criticism from some environmental groups which wanted different support mechanisms for renewables, rather than a catch-all scheme for all low-carbon technologies. "As it is, it looks like the process has been rigged for nuclear," said Nick Molho, head of energy policy at conservation groupWWF-UK. FT 23rd May 2012 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc4e9d54-a3ee-11e1-8878-00144feabdc0.html
5. 5. Subsidies to nuclear power, an energy source only built previously by the State in the UK, are denied by the Coalition Government despite the evidence. See for example: Energy Fair on Nuclear subsidies: http://b37c3a15-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/nonukesorguk/actions/ec-complaint/nuclear_subsidies_feb_2011.pdf?attachauth=ANoY7copVOPxP9OMg-rw3dN9WEkBdv8mMAThk5mfqVitooLDS8P1raXMMyq8mmIhEVXdWqktGHBfz4B-VhCZRo6eMWypmHcWX1b3nl_gtzQfY8E8VsoK1OHs2f1Y4mEq_UlNWBEkokQSqOG34mgq-axPx3VZRkWeIO64C0BJ7d6IiY3QvF5Ic0IJ2HiOZd3G4dswyro15XA7kYvWL5tr_pCa9J6RXHvWq9nkiZR2wsbJXjFZOS78WWZ1srgHc4hRRpYbRkE2sVCGmdJBXI-204SskC0LsbC1Xg%3D%3D&attredirects=0 AND Tom Burke and colleagues: http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/reports/Nuclear_power_subsidies_MPsbrief.pdf By comparison, Government support to all renewables has only cost energy consumers about £24 per household so far.