10th September 2008
UK 8020 Returns the Power to the People
Before another 30,000* pensioners die in winter 08
With an estimated six million** people rapidly approaching fuel poverty
in Britain and energy prices reaching all time highs, UK 8020 has the
answer to returning the power to the people in winter 08 - namely
renewable energy generation (REG).
Supported by the likes of pop superstar, Madonna, world famous inventor,
Trevor Baylis OBE, and social entrepreneur and founder of UK 8020,
Robert Lee, the not for profit company has campaigned for over a year to
bring an end to fuel poverty through energy efficiency and micro
generation using REG.
Significantly, Age Concern and Friends of the Earth have now arrived at
the same answer - the use of REG - and the government appears to be
accepting that consumers generating their own electricity at home could
be the way ahead.
Robert Lee, founder of UK 8020, says: "We’ve been banging on about the
home generation of energy since we launched our two campaigns in July
07. It's becoming a classic case of big talk, no action and while we are
all prevaricating, people are suffering and people will die."
UK 8020 launched in London during July 07 with its Climate Change
Challenge and Pledge4REG, which encouraged the development of sources of
renewable energy. Prize money of £100,000 and a place in the history
books were offered to the first person who could invent a renewable
energy generator (REG) that would provide 90% of the domestic
electricity needs for free. As part of the rules, the target retail
price for the unit with installation was £500. The second campaign,
Pledge4REG, is being used to gather public support for renewable energy
generators, and to acknowledge that fuel poverty could be eradicated
through micro generation.
The other renewable option, solar and wind power technology, comes with
a price tag of around £10,000, so is not affordable for the majority of
consumers and the pay back is unrealistic, taking up to 15 years.
Robert says: "Literally giving back the power to the people is the only
answer to beating rising fuel prices and eradicating fuel poverty. It
will empower people not only to generate their own electricity but to be
fuel efficient too.”
He adds: "A new industry with thousands of jobs could be created. The UK
could be the world leader in this technology, creating a vast export
industry that puts us back on the map as a leading manufacturing
He concludes: "Micro generation has the potential to tackle climate
change seriously by cutting carbon emissions, energy costs and reducing
the dependency on fossil fuels. A report***, commissioned by the
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, said if the
government offered the right combination of loans, grants and
incentives, nearly 10 million micro generation systems could be
installed by 2020, significantly reducing Britain's emissions and energy
"By 2020, Britain needs to reach its EU target of 15% of energy from
renewable energy generation. An affordable REG as proposed by UK 8020
could double that figure."
To find out more about the challenge, visit
or to pledge your support go to
Notes to editors
For a media toolkit, see
http://www.ClimateChangeChallenge.org (and click on media link on
or use the link: http://www.climatechangechallenge.org/Media/media_tool_kit.htm
* 30,000 pensioners – based on estimates from the 07 winter cold related
deaths and the recent increases in people in fuel poverty. See
** Research published by the National Housing Federation shows that 5.7m
households will be spending at least 10% of their income on energy bills
by the end of 2009 – an increase of 100% over 2005 levels.
With annual electricity bills due to increase to over £500 per year, and
gas bills to increase to around £900, by 2010, the report shows that the
number of people struggling to pay their bills will increase to record
According to the report, 5,720,000 households will be in fuel poverty by
the end of next year – compared to 2,400,000 in 2005 (and 3,774,000 at
the end of 2007). This means 13.4m people will be hit by fuel poverty in
2009 – equating to 23% of the British population.
In 2005, the average energy bill per annum was £676. However, next year
this is set to rocket to £1,406.
The above is taken from the National Housing Report press release at:
*** The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform report
can be found at: