#Energy: S&D MEP leads fight to tackle energy poverty

europe-energy-grid-from-ENTSO-E-website-banner-screenshot-©-ENTSO-E-The committee for industry, research and energy in the European Parliament today supported the Socialists and Democrats’ call on the EU to tackle rampant energy poverty. The report, A New Deal for Energy Consumers, has been drafted by S&D MEP Theresa Griffin, and it aims to put people at the heart of the Energy Union and protect citizens from uncompetitive and unfair practices.

Theresa Griffin’s demand for a ban on door-step selling of energy contracts was backed. The paper calls for a common definition of energy poverty, focusing on the idea that access to affordable energy is a basic social right and a dedicated action plan by mid-2017.

The paper recommends requesting suppliers notify customers when cheaper tariffs exist, the end of termination fees when switching suppliers, fairer taxes for those who produce their own energy and guidelines urging the European Commission to prioritize vulnerable energy consumers in energy legislation.

Griffin said: “Currently more than 50 million people are living in energy poverty throughout Europe. Millions of households are deciding whether to heat their homes or cook a meal, while big energy companies continue to raise prices and make record profits – something has to change.

“This paper outlines the steps needed to get households out of energy poverty and address unfair supplier practices. Many households pay more for energy because they’re unaware cheaper tariffs exist.

“We want energy companies to provide consumers with information on the best tariffs and scrap costly fees for changing suppliers, and are calling on the Commission to create a dedicated action plan that prioritizes tackling energy poverty.

“Individual consumers, particularly those who are vulnerable, are currently disempowered, so it is our responsibility as lawmakers to challenge the practices of large multinational energy companies.

“In 2016, nobody in the European Union should have to choose between heating, cooling or eating.”

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Category: A Frontpage, Energy, EU, World

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