The campaign for
Warm Homes & Lower Bills
A new satirical video mocking the leaders of the main political parties for their inaction on fuel poverty has gone viral this week on UK social media, reaching over one million views. It has been ranked as one of the top viral videos in the UK Ad Industry Viral Video Chart, was supported by Stephen Fry and has become one of the most successful political spoof videos in recent times.
The overwhelming popularity of the video will pile further pressure on political parties to do more in the lead up to the election to tackle the UK cold homes crisis and end the scandal of preventable winter deaths.
Every winter an average of 25,000 people die of the cold with one person dying every seven minutes. But this winter the official Excess Winter Death figures are likely to be much higher and A&E departments have been overwhelmed. The cold home crisis is one of the causes behind these deaths, exacerbating the numbers of hospital admissions and the pressure on the NHS.
The video, ‘Let Them Freeze’, has had 4 million ‘hits’ and over one million ‘views’. It is a parody of the hit song from Disney’s Frozen, ‘Let It Go’. It features amended lyrics, performed by the main party leaders, to raise awareness of Britain’s appalling fuel poverty record and the failure of British politicians to make good on their promises to tackle it.
The video can be seen at: facebook.com/video.php?v=709818539132179
The fuel poverty campaign group the Energy Bill Revolution commissioned the video from BAFTA-winning creative agency Don’t Panic London. It was released alongside research showing that the number of energy efficiency measures being installed in UK homes has crashed by 80% due to the failure of the Government’s flagship energy efficiency policies, the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation.
The Energy Bill Revolution is calling on political parties to unite behind a pledge to make all homes highly energy efficient by making it an infrastructure spending priority. They want infrastructure funds to be used to help make 2 million low income homes highly energy efficient by 2020 (EPC Band C) and all 6 million poorly insulated low income homes to be treated to this standard by 2025.
None of the major parties have yet pledged to use infrastructure funds to make homes energy efficient. This is despite Treasury plans to spend over £100 billion on infrastructure over the next 5 years. Not one penny of these public infrastructure funds are due to be spent on making homes more energy efficient. Yet according to the Energy Bill Revolution such an investment programme would generate £3.20 in economic growth per £1 invested and create over 100,000 jobs spread across the UK.
Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy Bill Revolution said: “Political leaders would like people to forget their failure to tackle fuel poverty. The stunning popularity of this video means now they have nowhere to hide. This campaign has massive support and if political leaders really are listening to the people they must make home energy efficiency the UK’s top infrastructure spending priority. It is the only permanent solution to the cold home crisis.”
All the main political parties committed to end fuel poverty in the year 2000, when they supported the passage of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 through Parliament. Yet fifteen years later over 6 million people still live in fuel poverty in the UK with no end in sight.