• Up to 1,000 people are expected to take action today outside Npower – the UK’s most complained about energy company – the day Winter Death statistics are released for 2012-2013.
• Anti-austerity groups including Fuel Poverty Action, UK Uncut, Disabled People Against Cuts, and the Greater London Pensioners Association are marching on Npower offices with a coffin filled with bills
• Further protests are taking place today in Oxford, Lewes, and Bristol Acting together under the banner of ‘Bring down the Big Six – Fuel Poverty Kills!’
• Supporting groups include No Dash for Gas, Campaign Against Climate Change, Climate Revolution, Young Friends of the Earth, Frack Off London, Power for the People, Barnet Alliance for Public Services, Lewes Against the Cuts, SOAS Energy & Climate Change Society and Southwest Against Nuclear.
In London, protesters are meeting at 11.30am at The Royal Exchange by Bank tube station, and hundreds will march to the Npower supply and trading HQ at 60 Threadneedle Street. They are expected to deliver a coffin filled with energy bills and hold a ‘speak-out’ where those hardest hit by fuel poverty will speak of their experiences.
The protests mark the release of new figures on last winter’s ‘excess winter deaths’, due for release at 9.30am today. Over 1000 people are expected to take part in the protests in London today. Simultaneously, Oxford-based protesters will be targeting British Gas at their new Oxford HQ . 1 Protests against the Big Six are also taking place in Lewes and Bristol. 2
Last year there were 24,000 ‘excess winter deaths’. The World Health Organisation estimate that at least 30 per cent of these were due to cold homes. 3
Clare Welton of Fuel Poverty Action said: “People are dying because of the Big Six’s profiteering and the rising cost of dirty energy like oil and gas. We’re protesting because we need to tackle fuel poverty and climate change as a matter of urgency. Both can be challenged through a combination of publicly owned and community controlled renewable energy and mass insulation”.
Npower has been chosen as the main London target as it received 202.5 complaints per 100,000 customers between April and June – double that of it’s nearest rival EDF 4 and has hiked its’ prices up higher than any of the other Big Six this year (9.3% electricity and 11.1% for Gas). N-Power have also paid zero corporation tax for the past 3 years despite reporting a 34% profit rise of £413million last winter due to price hikes and an estimated 300,000 people were pushed into fuel poverty as a result. 6
Susan Jarrett of UK Uncut said: ‘The fact that people are dying of fuel poverty as Npower and other energy companies rake in the money and avoid tax is a scandal. This Government is not only unnecessarily cutting our services in the name of austerity but are allowing these energy companies to literally get away with murder which is why we are fighting back today.’
1 www.facebook.com/events/1415841395313806 For more info contact organiser Andy Jones, Fuel Poverty Action Oxford – 07549212088
Lewes details here: www.facebook.com/events/219705358210410…
2 facebook.com/events/364663353679232 this number does not include those who have pledged to come but do not use social media
3 Source: www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file…