Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Plaid launches winter campaign
This article was in today's Western Mail.
"The average Welsh family is paying £517 more for gas and £236 more for electricity than five years ago, while UK energy companies’ profits have risen by 538%. More than a quarter of people report struggling with their heating bills and charities estimate there will be 1,400 excess deaths this winter. Launching the campaign, Plaid Euro-MP Jill Evans said: 'Far too many people are being forced to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families this winter.'
Plaid also wants price controls on energy reintroduced, as well as the introduction of a social tariff that would force energy companies to provide energy at a reduced rate to vulnerable people. In August the French Government imposed a cap on price rises imposed by energy companies. EDF, which supplies homes on both sides of the Channel, raised its electricity prices to British customers by 22% in the summer. It also put up its charges for gas by 17%. But in France the rises have been capped at 2% for electricity and 5% for gas."
Energy companies in France are in the public sector. The free market has failed people, particularly those who are vulnerable to fuel poverty. As National Energy Action point out, there is good reason to worry about an increase in winter deaths this year.