Energy bills: direct action looms with the #BigPowerOff

An image of the earth with BigPowerOff as a hashtag from a campaign over energy bills
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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.

The #BigPowerOff

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:

Read on...

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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:

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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  • Show Comments
    1. I’m not sure where the 54% comes from but for my family it’s considerably more! My energy bills are going up by over £1800pa / £150pm, which is 195% increase!! I’m disabled and one of my children is autistic (she doesn’t get DLA), she can’t sleep with covers on and hates clothes due to her sensory needs so the heating always has to be on. Not a cat in hell’s change we can afford this increase! I dread how much more it will go up in October!

    2. This is really pathetic asking people to cut down their use. What we should be talking about is ‘can’t pay won’t pay’. You are advocating tightening our belts.

      This really makes me wonder sometimes about Canary’s politics

    3. I’ve seen some stupid ideas but this one takes the biscuit. Are you seriously demanding that poor people, already living straitened, austere lives because of our capitalist anti-poor regime, should refrain from washing our clothes or even our bodies? As if that wouldn’t result in us being stereotyped even further. We need a socialist revolution, not a pointless protest that no-one in power would notice or care about.

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