Fair Energy Campaign Launches in East London
The Fair Energy Campaign hosted its official local launch at the East London Mosque, Whitechapel, after Friday prayers, reaching 2,000 attendants on the day
Over 4 million people in the UK suffer from fuel poverty. During the winter months, these families face the ‘Heat or Eat?’ dilemma, putting their lives at risk. At the same time, disadvantaged communities are also excluded from opportunities to take positive action towards climate change. Led by Citizens UK, the Fair Energy Campaign champions best practices and principles in the energy supply sector. It aims to alleviate fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions by supporting customers to make informed decisions about energy suppliers.
In times of scarcity, access to affordable energy has become an increased concern for citizens globally. There are over 14 million people living in poverty in the UK, 8.5 million are food insecure and 2.5 million live in fuel poverty[i]. This situation is now heavily aggravated by the current COVID 19 crisis. However, this is an issue that affects not only the most vulnerable – according to more than 25% of UK households don’t know what energy tariff they are on. This reveals the need for sector reform and innovation that enables access to green energy at all customer levels.
Dr Laura Santamaria, Chair of the Fair Energy Campaign comments:
“Access to green, affordable energy is not an issue that affects those under fuel poverty alone. In a post-Covid world, consumers are re-evaluating how their spend, and what values they support with their purchase decisions. The Fair Energy Campaign launches at an optimum time and will fill a space at the intersection of looking to make a change and saving money.”
Historically, Citizens UK has initiated very successful nationwide campaigns such as the Living Wage[ii] which resulted in pay rises for over 150,000 workers and their families. Equally, the Fair Energy campaign represents an opportunity to influence green energy consumption and drive new practices in the energy market at individual, local and national level.
Dilowar Khan, Director of Finance & Engagement at East London Mosque, said:
“As Muslims, we have a duty of stewardship for the Earth. We are proud to engage our local communities on their energy suppliers, helping families save money and reducing our carbon footprint.”
East London Mosque onboarded the FE campaign after voting for climate change as a priority at a Citizens UK assembly. Concern of the impact of climate change in Muslim communities is increasing, yet these voices are not always heard in the wider climate justice movement. The FE Campaign pilot project will develop tailored resources developed alongside Muslim communities, enabling them to take action and develop leadership on climate change.
Afsana Salik, Citizens UK Community Organiser says:
“With our ‘Hub & Switch’ model, we have identified a simple way to cut down a household’s carbon footprint and lower the energy bills considerably. The goal is to equip ‘energy champion’ volunteers across the country, focusing on the most vulnerable communities. Get in touch to run a Switch Day in your community, taking impactful action towards reducing poverty and climate crisis.”
In east London, the campaign will focus on reaching 16,000 vulnerable households within Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest over a period of 15 months (1 February 2021 to 30 April 2022). A series of workshops, volunteer training and Switch Day events with resident, businesses and community groups will be held across diverse communities to support residents in supplying their energy from 100% renewable sources. The approach is based on innovative principles and practices leading to significant fuel bill cost and carbon emissions reductions per household, benefitting people and organisations alike.
The campaign will produce tangible and considerable local impact, and at the same time serve to develop, test and formalise the model to scale the campaign at national level.
To join the campaign, visit FairEnergyCampaign.org
Follow us on Twitter @FairEnergyUK