Your Voice Heard on the Energy Crisis
Thursday 19th of January 2023
Tackling the energy crisis is a vital concern for the wellbeing of residents. People need warm, safe homes, and not to be driven into poverty by extortionate bills. The response to this crisis can, and must, also address the urgent threat of climate change.
Hope for the Future looks forward to continuing and deepening our partnership with Tpas. There are huge overlaps between work on housing and climate, as Tpas’ brilliant report on “Net Zero, Technology and Tenants” makes clear. Improvements like insulation and low carbon heating technology, as well as other forms of retrofitting, can reduce carbon emissions and energy usage while also benefiting residents through warmer homes and lower bills. Tpas and Hope for the Future also share an approach which aims to empower everyone from any background - whether as constituents or residents - to engage with the institutions which impact their day to day lives, providing training and support.
In November 2022, HFTF hosted an event called ‘Your Voice Heard on the Energy Crisis’ in West Bromwich where we brought together local people, decision makers and experts to talk about the energy and cost of living crisis, especially as it relates to housing, while also highlighting the global impacts of the climate crisis. These different crises are deeply interconnected, something that was highlighted by Greenpeace’s new film about fuel poverty, screened on the day. There was a mix of expert advice and demonstrations, family-friendly educational activities, and opportunities for democratic engagement. A community vision for tackling the energy crisis was developed, alongside a zine produced collectively by attendees with support from the South Asian Arts Collective.
A variety of speakers allowed a well-rounded perspective on how the energy crisis impacts different groups, as well as indicating the diversity of possible solutions. Groups like Eco-Sikh and Footsteps brought a faith framework, indicating the connections between religious traditions and action to protect our environment and deliver social justice. Warmer Homes West Midlands and ACORN showed the importance of improving the energy efficiency of our housing stock.
We’re now working with the local community to refine their vision for improving energy efficiency and housing stock in their area and are looking forward to supporting them to bring this to their local politicians. We need everyone’s voices to be heard if we want to deal effectively with the energy and cost of living crisis!