We’re entering a period of very serious fuel poverty where many families will be unable to afford to pay the standing charge to have a supply of gas or electricity. The energy companies have stopped answering calls for help, so you can’t even ask them to cut you off.
There is no way out. The debt rises even if you never put money in the meter and never use any gas or electricity.
This is an intolerable situation and needs to be addressed urgently. The poorest people are paying for the collapse of former energy companies. It is a criminally unfair system that could only be devised by the cruellest Conservative government we’ve ever seen.
The energy companies need to be instructed to respond to customers properly and immediately, and to offer a swift way to stop debts racking up, within hours, such as suspending the contract indefinitely. “The office is closed” is not OK during working hours.
Meanwhile we’ll need urgently to provide people with a solution. For example, opening community centres and church halls where there’s a kitchen. People could bring their food and pay 50p to have it cooked communally in the oven or microwave, and get a hot drink in a warm place.
This disaster is the result of successive governments failing to take seriously the need to eliminate fossil fuels by reduction in demand and conversion to locally produced renewables. Also having utilities farmed out for profit. Energy security should have been top of the agenda.
It is a fiasco entirely created by mismanagement of our ample opportunities to become self sufficient and green. The culprits must be punished. They are guilty of criminal inattention to the threats. Manipulated, of course, by powerful fossil fuel lobbies and Russian influence.