In London and Glasgow, this Friday, dozens of Britons took to the streets to demonstrate outside the headquarters of the energy regulator Ofgem, after the announcement of an 80% increase in the cost of electricity and gas . The movement was launched by the “Don’t Pay UK” campaign, which encourages the population not to pay their energy bills from October 1, 2022. An increase which reflects the surge in world gas prices since the post-pandemic deconfinements, pushed to record levels by the limitations of Russian gas supplies to Europe since the start of the war in Ukraine.
Ofgem, employers, suppliers and associations are calling for immediate government action to avoid a “dramatic” shock for low-income households, already facing inflation at more than 10%, the highest in the G7 countries, while the British economy is flirting with recession. According to the University of York, nearly two-thirds of British households are at risk of fuel poverty by next year.
Economy Minister Nadhim Zahawi promised that “help is coming, with £400 off energy bills for everyone, £650 for vulnerable households and £300 for pensioners”. Departing Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson has left this politically sensitive issue to the next head of government, whose name will be revealed on September 5.
The environmental NGO Greenpeace asks for its part to put energy savings back at the heart of government policy, in particular the insulation of deplorable housing in the United Kingdom, and to “turbocharge” investment in renewables “which have become cheaper than gas.
The Don’t Pay movement – “Do not pay” – showed more than 129,000 members, at the end of August, committed to no longer paying their electricity bills from October if they are not reduced to an “affordable level” .