Wednesday 28th September 2016                 Change text size:

New opinion poll reveals Londoners’ anger over high energy bills



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2/3 of Londoners hesitated to heat their homes due to high bills
3/4 of Londoners want a Mayor who will lower bills

New polling conducted by Switched on London reveals that 87% of Londoners feel they are paying too much for their energy and there is cross-party support for a Mayor who will take action to cut bills.

  • 65% turned off or hesitated to use their heating last winter because of worries about their energy bills
  • 77% want a London public energy company that reduces the cost of energy bills and invests in local energy
  • 73% are more likely to vote for a Mayoral candidate who has a credible plan to lower energy bills for London.
  • 61% of undecided voters are more likely to vote for a candidate with a plan to lower bills.

The poll is being released alongside a new report from New Economics Foundation and the Switched On London campaign that makes the case for a new public energy company for London, and calls on the city’s Mayoral candidates to back the proposals:

  • Londoners could save up to 25% on their current energy bills: similar schemes, such as Robin Hood Energy in Nottingham, have led to direct benefits for households, particularly those in fuel poverty
  • Clean energy for the capital: through solar energy alone, the new company could catalyse enough clean power generation for a fifth of London’s electricity needs
  • People-powered energy: 2 out of 3 Londoners either turned off or hesitated to use their heating due to high bills last winter. A new, public company would bring decisions about energy supply closer to the people who depend on it

Similar schemes exist elsewhere in the UK – Nottingham and Bristol city councils have launched fully licensed energy supply companies.

The poll also shows Sadiq Khan with a 9.5% lead over Zac Goldsmith for voting intentions – 32% to 22.5%. However, this is reversed in the 60+ bracket – where Zac Goldsmith has an almost 15% lead – 36.5% to 21.6%.

Voters of all political persuasions were worried about high bills and backed a not-for-profit public energy company that cuts bills and invests in renewables. This ranged from 77.4% of Lib Dem voters to 85.5% of UKIP voters.

The opinion poll was conducted by Morar Consulting for Switched on London, and sampled 1007 individuals in London. The full results are available here.

Laura Hill, Switched on London, said:

“We’re disgusted to find out rip-off energy bills forced two thirds of Londoners to restrict their heating during winter. Boris had the power to dramatically cut bills and eradicate fuel poverty across the capital by setting up a public energy company, but failed to do so. Hopefully, London’s next mayor will take this crisis seriously.”

Mika Minio-Paluello of Platform London and Switched on London, said:

“The Big Six have left Londoners with extortionate bills and dirty energy. Our poll shows that the overwhelming majority of voters of every political persuasion believe that cheaper, cleaner and more democratic energy is possible, and the pathway lies with public energy.”

Stephen Devlin, Economist at the New Economics Foundation said:

“Providing heat and electricity to our homes and workplaces is one of the most basic and vital functions of our economy. No household should be unable to afford a basic level of energy anywhere in the country, let alone in our capital city.”

“The privatisation of our energy system is an experiment that has failed – and it is households and businesses who have paid the price. Collectively we have the technology and resources to provide affordable and clean electricity for everyone – we need a new energy system for London to make it a reality.”


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