Wednesday, January 19

CCOO urges to reinforce the social bonus in the face of energy poverty: “The Government has to take measures”

CCOO has demanded this Friday the Government to reinforce the social bond, the discounts in the electricity rate for vulnerable consumers, in the face of the “beastly” rise in the price of energy, along with measures such as a reform of the electricity market to “eliminate excess benefits “of the large companies in the sector and a greater role for the State in hydroelectric, wind and photovoltaic generation.

Ribera parks the automatic concession of the electricity social bond that it raised in 2019

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“The Government has to take measures”, said Manuel Cobo, secretary of organization of the Federation of Pensioners and Retirees of the union, in the presentation of the campaign “Energy as Social Right”, a collection of signatures throughout the State requesting to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition measures to combat energy poverty.

This problem, which according to the union already affects more than 5 million people in Spain, has exploded with the pandemic, especially affects older people and, according to Cobo, some studies relate it to around 7,200 annual deaths in Spain.

The campaign is the third of its kind launched by the union (200,000 signatures were collected in the previous one), it will last until March and consists of seven major petitions. The first, explained Antonia del Castillo, Secretary of Communication of the Federation of Pensioners and Retirees of CCOO, is that the social bonus, which currently has 1.2 million homes granted, is “more open to cover more people” and be “much more extensive”.

The union also asks to “simplify” the bureaucratic burdens to obtain the bonus; create municipal information offices on these discounts, with greater “involvement” of the municipalities; extend the prohibition of supply cuts due to non-payment of vulnerable people; and launch subsidies for energy efficiency and self-consumption for this group.

CCOO also calls on the Government for a profound reform of the electricity market price formation system, which the Executive has been trying to modify for months without success before the European Commission and which “greatly harms citizens and benefits companies in an extraordinary way.” And a “greater public control” in the generation of electricity.

The union, which recalls that a recent survey by the Sociological Research Center (CIS) showed that 92% of the Spanish population is concerned about high electricity prices (along with majority support for a public intervention to control them), claims that the State create “or adapt” a public company to “rescue” the hydroelectric jumps “that are transferred to large companies with concession contracts.” And it requires “significant involvement” in the development of photovoltaic and wind energy through this public company.

The high prices of electricity, recalled Mariano Sanz, Secretary of Occupational Health and Environmental Sustainability of CCOO, are a consequence of the “exceptional” situation of the energy markets due to the exponential rise in the price of gas and CO2 emissions. They are “a problem for domestic consumers and also for companies and the economy as a whole” due to their impact on inflation. And this situation “very intensely aggravates the problem of poverty and social exclusion.”