Energy Price Crisis: An Open Letter

As part of Community Action Norfolk’s campaign to raise awareness, and reduce the impact of, the expected significant hikes in energy prices on Norfolk’s voluntary, community, and social enterprise sector, we are sharing an open letter to MPs, policy makers and key stakeholders.  You can find out more about CAN’s campaign here.

Please contact with any queries regarding this open letter and/or our campaign. As outlined below we welcome responses to this open letter, ideally by Friday 19th August, particularly from charities and Village Halls to understand what you have been doing regarding this issue or what you will be doing.’

The letter…

The recent increases to energy prices are already at the forefront of most of our minds. The average homeowner is seeing a rise of up to £693 per year for their energy bills. (Ofgem, 2022. Price cap to increase by £693 from April | Ofgem) Community Action Norfolk are becoming more concerned with the energy price rise and the impact it is having on not only individuals, but on charities and village halls. That is why we are launching a campaign to raise awareness of the issue and to advocate for change.

How Energy Price Rises Are Affecting Charities

Charities and charity properties are becoming increasingly concerned and unable to operate as they normally would be due to the increase in their energy bills. There is currently no energy price cap in place for charities properties including village halls meaning many operate under the same “business tariff” guidelines that a large company turning profit does.

This increase in price is particularly challenging for those charities who use charity properties and premises to provide a direct service in the community.  We are seeing an increase in stories of charities unable to meet the increase in rent and hire charges being put into place by the premises they use to keep up with the increase in energy prices. This creates a notable risk that vital community support will become increasingly more limited or could become unable to operate in communities. This is particularly troubling for those living in rural areas, where these community services are vital sources of socialisation, support, and enjoyment for many people. See our case study on a rural Norfolk village hall here.

Coverage of the impact that rising energy prices are having has rightfully been focused on the increase cost of living to the average homeowner. However, many of the services which we rely on in the community are also facing increased costs. Village halls and charities are having to decide whether to remain open and operating as their running costs have drastically increased too.

Impact of Rising Energy Prices on Village Halls

Village halls are now trying to balance meeting the rise in energy costs whilst not being penalised by the Climate Change Levy which results in an added taxation of 20% if they use over their ‘de minimis’ value of energy. Village halls provide important venues for services and activities that otherwise would not be able to take place. So, to see that many are facing challenges and are having to question whether they can operate as prices soar is concerning.

It was recently published that West Norfolk was one of the areas listed to be most at risk from fuel poverty in the wake of the energy price increase. We recently published an article exploring this further: Fuel Poverty: West Norfolk included in areas most at risk. | Community Action Norfolk.

Not only do village halls and charities in this area have the barrier of rurality to contend with, they also now must consider their running and operating costs. For many, village halls are the only space for services and activities that encourage them to socialise and interact with others regularly, which is particularly important in rural areas.

It is interesting that the government have prioritised funding within the Department of Transport for transport in rural areas to limit social isolation, as many of the village halls that would host the events and activities necessary to combat social isolation and loneliness are on the verge of closing. (Tackling loneliness with transport fund – GOV.UK (

More focus and investment are needed to ensure that village halls and charities can continue to operate – starting with a charity tariff on energy bills so charities and village halls are not stung by business tariffs.

Considering this, Community Action Norfolk want to open the discussion around a charity tariff with energy providers. The current system where charities are regulated by the same terms as businesses is unsustainable. Secondly, we wish to ensure that more is done to protect charity properties from closure as their services are vital for the community – not only in Norfolk but across the country.


In summary, here is what we are asking for from you:

  • Support or endorsement of this campaign on social media and within your contacts.
  • A response to this open letter, detailing what you have been doing regarding this issue or what you will be doing.
  • Helping CAN (Community Action Norfolk) open this conversation with energy providers.
  • Helping us to explore the possibility of a charity tariff for charities and charity premises in Norfolk.
  • Challenging the loneliness and transport fund and expanding it to include charity premises.
  • Acknowledging the importance of charity premises in your area.
  • Practical solutions for greener energy solutions.
  • We wish to draw attention to the VHIG fund which was put forward by ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) and Defra but has not been renewed by the treasury.
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