people standing outside ofgem building

Equal Voices students visit Ofgem

After carrying out a listening campaign this term in Hackney, our Equal Voices students found out the three main issues that people care about are: cost of fuel, housing and ESOL funding cuts. As a group they decided to focus on campaigning about the cost of fuel this term and the other issues next term. Most of the learners are using prepayment metres and felt that they are spending more money on their energy bills compared to people who are not using prepayment metres.

The Hackney Equal Voices Class wrote a letter asking to have a meeting with Ofgem’s CEO and went to the offices of Ofgem to present the letter asking him to reconsider the cost of energy on customer’s prepayment metres.

When they got there they individually told their stories about how they are personally being affected by the cost of energy bills and presented the letter. The letter was receipted and they were given the CEO’s email address and direct telephone number. Most learners felt positive about the experience and also realised that their leadership skills improved. They all acknowledged that they might not get the response they are looking for right now but they know it is a starting point and they have to follow up in the next term. We were very proud of them all!

Muzinga who currently studies at ELATT, shares her views:

‘I was a leader for my Equal Voices Level 1 class on 8th December 2016, to deliver a letter to the manager of Ofgem. Ofgem has an office of Gas and Electricity in Westminster. Firstly, our visit was to stand up and make our voices heard because we are paying too much for bills and want it to be less. Secondly, before going inside the Ofgem building to deliver the letter, we were outside (students and our teachers) listening to each other’s opinions.

The impact of this energy bills are: We cannot save, we cannot buy food, it’s very stressful and people have to work many jobs and most of parents cannot spend time with their kids.

In the letter we state that we want to have a meeting with the manager and discuss making sure the poor people are not paying more than they should. Finally, we will need to act to find who else is affected, build a team and then go and meet with other energy companies.’

Please get in touch on hello@elatt.org.uk if you’d like to find out more about the visit.