Energy bills: direct action looms with the #BigPowerOff
The sharp increase in energy bills is now just weeks away. On 1 April, prices will go up by 54% – potentially sparking chaos for many people. So, a grassroots campaign group is calling on everyone to take direct action against the energy companies by joining the #BigPowerOff.
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is a grassroots disability rights campaign group. It’s been prominent for over a decade. Now, its Shefﬁeld branch is asking people across the UK to join the #BigPowerOff on 1 April 2022.
DPAC Shefﬁeld are asking people not to use mains powered things. For example, it said in a press release people can:
- Turn the heating down.
- Use a slow cooker to prepare hot food rather than an oven.
- Skip having a bath or shower.
- Not use the washing machine.
- Not use equipment that emits heat, eg. hair straighteners, hair dryers.
- Eat cold foods or pre-prepared meals that you can heat.
- Stop watching TV.
- Not switch lights on.
- Turn off non-essential electrical items at the plug.
- Just drink cold drinks.
It would be wrong not to mention that there are probably countless households already having to do lots of these things. Because for many, the cost of living crisis is already biting. But DPAC Sheffield want those that may not be currently struggling to take a stand for those that are.
David Hayes of DPAC Shefﬁeld said:
You don’t even have to go outside. You can protest from home. We want to show power suppliers that we the people have the potential power to turn off the proﬁts that make them and their shareholders obscenely wealthy whilst millions of people across the UK can’t even afford to cook our teas.
Rachael will join the #BigPowerOff:
I am taking part in the #BigPowerOff on the 1st April with @DPACSheffield come and join me #CostOfLivingCrisis pic.twitter.com/088ZtPAyiZ
— Socialist Rach Rants – #BigPowerOff💡 (@accessiblerach) March 17, 2022
Other action you can take
The group is, however, aware these actions may not be possible for some people. DPAC’s Jennifer Jones said:
We acknowledge that some people have no option at the moment to eat cold foods… many people absolutely must keep their heating and various equipment on in their homes due to disabilities, and in no way should anyone be made to feel shamed into doing this or that they’re not doing their part if they can’t commit to using less or no gas or electricity.
So, for people who cannot stop using energy, DPAC Shefﬁeld want you to post selﬁes displaying the campaign slogan, and make #BigPowerOff banners using up-cycled materials where possible. Also, on social media the group wants people post their stories:
- Will the rises cause you to go without other essentials?
- For what reasons are a warm home and food important to you and your family?
- How much are your own bills increasing by?
- Are you even in a position to be able to afford to pay the predicted bills…?
Make energy suppliers listen
DPAC Sheffield is also aware that some people want to take further direct action by refusing to pay their bills. But as it explains in this video, for people reliant on social security, this is not possible:
Text on video reads: Some people are asking why we won’t support a “can’t pay won’t pay” campaign with regard to energy bills… pic.twitter.com/K2RdMPnOpu
— DPAC Sheffield 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈♿✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻 (@DPACSheffield) March 16, 2022
David Hayes of DPAC Shefﬁeld said:
With the rise in living costs millions of people now face the choice between living or dying in order to feed the insatiable greed of the ruling class. We won’t get anything done waiting for politicians, ‘celebrities’ or unions to fight back
Energy suppliers are set to put prices up again in October. So, DPAC Shefﬁeld say that #BigPowerOff on 1 April will be the first of many rolling household protests.
Featured image via DPAC Sheffield
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