CAMPAIGNERS against fuel poverty are to hold a demonstration North Ayrshire to demand energy price guarantees.

Members of the Unite union, alongside other organisations including Fuel Poverty Action, Medact, the National Pensioners Convention and Homes for All UK, will rally at the Bridgegate, in Irvine, between 12.30pm and 2pm on Tuesday March 5.

The demonstrations form part of the Unite 4 Energy for All campaign which launched last year to urge the government to end fuel poverty.

The campaign is also calling for the public ownership of energy distribution networks, domestic power suppliers and the North Sea’s reserves of oil and gas, to bring an end to flagrant profiteering.

Speaking ahead of the protests, Unite national officer, Simon Coop, said: “Greedy governments and callous corporations are blighting the lives of millions.

“Every household must be guaranteed enough energy to cover essential needs. No one should be forced to choose between heating or eating.

“Last year alone, private firms reported profits of £45 billion from our country’s domestic energy system.

"If that money had been kept in the hands of the hardworking public, it could have been used to save each household almost £2,000 on their energy bills. It must stop.”

Unite’s report into the UK’s energy system revealed that private energy companies had made a profit of £45 billion and, if returned to consumers, would reduce bills by £1,800.

More than five million people live in homes with energy debt, and more than three million people have been disconnected in the last 12 months because they could not afford to top-up their prepay meter.

Unite community activist Judy White added: “The tragedy in this country, the fifth richest in the world, is that people are having to choose between eating and heating.

"We believe that with decisive government action all deaths from cold homes, and fuel poverty can be avoided.”