Direct action groups to target NPower over fuel poverty deaths
Over a thousand people will take action against Npower and other Big Six energy companies on day that Winter Death statistics are released. Anti-austerity groups including Fuel Poverty Action, UK Uncut, Disabled People Against Cuts, and the Greater London Pensioners Association reveal Npower as key target (Npower Supply and Trading Offices, 60 Threadneedle Street, EC2R 8HP).Further protests to take place in Oxford, Lewes, and Bristol
Acting together under the banner of ‘Bring down the Big Six – Fuel Poverty Kills!’ direct action groups will hold ‘an outrageous, creative and inclusive’ protest at the London office of the German energy giant Npower on Tuesday November 26th midday.
1, 2, 3. Meeting at 11.30am at Royal Exchange by Bank tube station, hundreds will march on Npower to protest against winter deaths, price hikes and their devastation on the planet. Simultaneously, Oxford-based protesters will target British Gas at their new Oxford HQ . So far over 1000 people have pledged to take part in the protests so far.
At least 7,200 people died last year in the UK due to cold homes.
Npower is the UK’s most complained about energy company. It received 202.5 complaints per 100,000 customers between April and June – double that of its nearest rival EDF as well as increasing its prices higher than any of the other Big Six this year (9.3% electricity and 11.1% for Gas) (4), (5) The company has also defended seeking a 5% profit margin which is widely regarded as excessive (6) Npower 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 as an estimated 300,000 people were pushed into fuel poverty.
7,8, 9. Sarah Price of UK Uncut said: ‘The Big Six are an example of incredible corporate greed. Huge profits are extracted from the public whilst they suffer at the hands of austerity. David Cameron and his cabinet of millionaires are only too happy to stuff the pockets of big business while ordinary people are left out in the cold. The combined wealth of cabinet ministers is £70 million and they will never feel the pain of those who can’t afford their energy bills this winter. People must be put before profit, and with creative direct action, we will stand with the elderly, the poor and vulnerable to fight for OUR power. Fuel Poverty must end.’
Joseph Murphy of Disabled People Against Cuts said, ‘Another harsh winter will mean more disabled people will find themselves isolated in their homes, unable to heat them, or cook properly. Many don’t make it through. Politicians and energy firms talk about ‘measures’ and ‘support’, which are only available to a very few. The energy firms continue to sit in government departments writing energy policy, in buildings where the heating is paid for by the very people who will die of cold this winter. This is a disgrace. We ask all disabled people to take action, and to show this government, and these companies, that we wont take this and will fightback’.
- Fight Big Six FaceBook Group – www.facebook.com/events/1415841395313806
- Fight Big Six FaceBook groups – facebook.com/events/364663353679232 (does not include those who have pledged to come but do not use social media)
- Last year there were 24,000 excess winter deaths in England and Wales. According to the World Health Organisation around 30% of excess winter deaths can be attributed to cold indoor temperatures – which based on current figures means around 7,200 people died last year due to cold housing in the winter months. (WHO: Environmental Burden of Disease Associated with Inadequate Housing )
- Metro.co.uk – N-Power most complained about, of the Big Six energy companies
- Mirror.co.uk – N Power Complaints spike before anger at price-hike
- Telegraph: NPower defends profits
- Metro.co.uk/2013/10/21 N-Power-Boss tells customers,” Use less to lower bills“
- Telegraph: Npower chief refuses to give up bonus
- Guardian: NPower reveals 11.3% surge in UK Gas Revenues
- Telegraph: “Put up or shut up!” over cartel claims, says NPower Boss
- Fuel Poverty Action: N Power is target!
- UK UnCut: – Fuel Poverty Action
- DPAC.uk.net -Fuel Poverty