Al Fin links to this story:Last year, more than 30,000 winter deaths were thought to be caused by fuel poverty, up by a third from the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics. - http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059992359Across Europe, low income residents are being sacrificed to the Green Gods of Faux Environmentalism. Increasing numbers die in winter, unable to heat their cold dark homes — while fat green government and EU officials and cronies pat each other on the back in congratulations for pushing the penetration of the intermittent unreliables big wind/solar to more and more destructive heights.Twenty-two thousand in 2012. Thirty thousand in 2013.
In Newcastle-upon-Tyne in northeast England, 43-year-old single mother of three Gemma (she did not want to provide her last name) can barely afford her utility bills.It's all class war, all the way down. Policies championed by smug, rich white elitists that drive the lower middle class into poverty. Marx described this process in detail in his dialectic.
"I find myself not eating at all just to keep the heating on," she said. Like many who live in one of the country's millions of unimproved houses, Gemma's gas heating is metered. So is her electricity. She pays for heat and light a pound coin at a time. She receives state benefits. At one point, she was £1,000 ($1,630) in debt to her energy supplier.
"You look at your meter and think, God! It's used £4 already, it's never going to last, and think, I'm going to have to switch it off. When it's cold and my gas is running out, I put hair dryers on under a blanket, as I had some electricity on the meter."
This may be just the beginning of an increasingly ugly political issue. The government places much of the blame for increased energy prices at the feet of so-called green policies. Currently, such policies account for only about 10 percent of the heating bill, but these numbers are set to go up dramatically. According to Department of Energy and Climate Change figures, they will add 33 percent to the cost of electricity by 2020 and 41 percent by 2030. Shutting down old coal-fired power plants and adding more expensive renewable energy -- particularly wind power -- to the grid will spur rising electricity costs.
In Germany, between 10 and 12 percent of the population is considered fuel poor. Most of these are working poor, Heindl said, who fall through the gap between the clearly defined poverty line, which would qualify them for public benefits, and the many "working poor people, the less well-educated and doing less well-paid work." There is no subsidy for this demographic.
In France, the picture is similar. About 3.8 million households -- about 8 million people, or 14 percent -- live in fuel poverty. Since 2010, France has launched a countrywide program called "Habiter Mieux" (better living) aimed at improving the thermal efficiency of fuel-poor households by at least 25 percent.
The plan, administered by local councils, may only be a stopgap measure. The symptoms of fuel poverty are progressing. According to a 2012 report by the French national energy ombudsman, the economic crisis and the recent energy price increases (25 percent for gas and 8 percent for electricity in the past two years) place increasing numbers of vulnerable households at risk of not being able to pay their energy bills.
But the body count is what is most interesting. You don't hear anything about this in the Press, even though tens of thousands are dead from these policies. It brings to mind other past efforts to rid society of "useless mouths".
That program, come to think of it, was also conceived by a smug, rich white elite.