Energy suppliers, local government offices and housing providers have been targeted by protesters aiming to raise awareness of fuel poverty.
Over the weekend, activists from the Fuel Poverty Action Group staged “winter warm-ups” outside town halls and at the offices of each of Britain’s six largest gas and electricity providers – British Gas, e.on, Scottish and Southern Energy, Scottish Power, Npower and EDF Energy.
While the organisation is critical of what it sees as profiteering on the back of soaring utility bills, it has also accused local authorities of failing provide insulation and good-quality housing. An estimated 6.3 million British homes are considered to be in fuel poverty.
“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,” said spokesperson Elizabeth Zega. “Thousands die each year in the UK because they cannot afford to heat their homes.”
The protests came as Which? executive director Richard Lloyd told the Independent that consumers will most likely foot the bill for the installation of new energy smart meters, due to be fitted in every home across the UK.