Activists target big six firms over fuel poverty

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The Independent Online

Offices of energy companies, local government and housing providers were targeted by protesters over the weekend in a series of co-ordinated nationwide activities to fight rising fuel prices and the increasing number of people forced into fuel poverty.

Protesters from the Fuel Poverty Action Group organised "Winter Warm Ups" outside offices of the big six firms – EDF, British Gas, E.on, Npower, ScottishPower and Southern & Scottish Energy – and at town halls where local councils were accused of not providing decent quality housing and insulation.

Anger has been growing as well publicised falls in the price of wholesale energy have not being passed on to customers. Since peaking last summer, wholesale gas prices have fallen by 31 per cent, while electricity has fallen by 28 per cent. British Gas owner Centrica is next month expected to announce profits of £566m for last year. Elizabeth Ziga from Fuel Poverty Action said: "We want to challenge the big six energy companies which control 99 per cent of the energy industry and make record profits off our rising bills.

"Thousands die each year in the UK because they cannot afford to heat their homes."