Should a profiteering Big Six energy company sponsor a fuel poverty event?

The Guardian has just published a story about a dispute over whether Scottish Power, one of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies, should be sponsoring a fuel poverty conference in Harrogate this week. Our criticism of their sponsorship can be read here.  Our criticism of their sponsorship can be read here.  ) Continue reading “Should a profiteering Big Six energy company sponsor a fuel poverty event?”

What we're up to at the moment…


It’s summer time and although the cold might not be biting too hard right now, the bills still are in the form of fuel bill debt. A leading debt advice charity recently reported that in the last four years, it’d seen a 180% increase in people seeking advice about problems paying off their energy bills. This is no surprise, as our bills have grown seven times faster than income since 2004.
Fuel poverty is an issue that affects us all year round. This means that, despite the warmer weather, Fuel Poverty Action are keeping up our campaigning against the collusion of the Big Six and the government in driving up our bills.
In May, we supported Climate Justice Collective’s ‘Big Six Energy Bash’, which saw hundreds of people taking direct action against the UK Energy Summit, an exclusive corporate conference at which the Big Six energy companies were meeting with government representatives to ensure that energy policy remains in their interests, not ours. This was a really exciting day that allowed people to come together and directly confront the energy companies whose profiteering is driving up our bills, as well as heating up the planet.
Last week, we held a really successful info night, at which we were really happy to meet several new faces looking to get involved with our group. The night begun with a short presentation about the issues we’re campaigning on, what we’ve been doing and our plans for the future. Afterwards, we had an interesting discussion about the ways in which rocketing bills are affecting us, and how we can go about fighting this. The presentation we delivered was made with the intention of it functioning as an outreach resource that we could deliver to other groups, should they like to know a bit more about fuel poverty and our campaign. Get in touch if your group would like us to come along to a meeting, have a chat and deliver the short presentation. We’re hoping to make the presentation available on the website soon, so watch this space.
The info night was part of a broader outreach strategy. We’ve spent the past few weeks talking to lots of different groups, including those campaigning against the cuts, on disability rights and on housing issues, about coordinating our efforts. We’ll be building for a public meeting in autumn, which will hopefully allow lots of groups to come together and strategise about how we can work together better to make our fight against rising bills stronger. Follow @FuelPovAction on Twitter and check the website nearer the time for more details.
Finally, we’re about to launch a new community organising project in Haringey. The plan is to spend the summer talking to Haringey residents about their views on rising bills and what action they’d like to take. Then, in the Winter, we’ll be hoping to support collective community action. The project is a pilot – we’re hoping to learn lessons from this that can be applied to similar projects that will spread across London and, hopefully, nationwide.
In order to keep up our fight against fuel poverty and the collusion of the Big Six and the government in maintaining a profit-driven corporate monopoly, we need you to get involved. There are loads of ways to  participate in our activities, from helping on outreach stalls in Haringey, to planning direct actions, to helping out with social media publicity. We welcome all new people, and take direction from the passions and ideas of everyone involved. To find out more, or to come to our next meeting, email [email protected] And remember to follow @FuelPovAction on Twitter to keep up to date about fuel poverty and our campaign.

Big 6 Energy Bash – Thursday 3rd May

The Big Six Energy Bash- MASS ACTION!
THE IDEA:
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Climate Justice Collective takes to the streets to block the energy monopoly going on behind closed doors at the UK Energy Summit. Companies from the Big Six including EDF, Npower, EON and Scottish Power, as well as oil giants like Shell and BP are conspiring with government to line their pockets at the cost of climate crisis and millions of people locked in fuel poverty. The Big Six energy companies are an obstacle to a democratic energy system that could keep the sea levels down and get the heating on in fuel poverty homes. We want a socialised grid not a corporate monopoly – the UK Energy Summit cannot go ahead!
http://climatejusticecollective.org/
THE PLAN:
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Be in Central London on Thursday 3rd May.
Be ready to go at 11am.
Keep an eye out on our Twitter (@CJ_Collective) for updates on meeting points and live and instant action plans.
UK Energy Summit website: http://www.economistconferences.co.uk/event/uk-energy-summit-2012/5964
THE REASONS:
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1. People not profit
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This conference is all about the people who should NOT be making decisions about our energy. It is about corporate elites, of which the government is now just one, colluding to make money, impose austerity, keep control and retain their privilege. We’re here to say that we see a different possibility: a world where people come first. We say that the needs of communities and the environment come before the needs of corporations.
This conference is an attempt to keep the status quo of high energy prices, soaring profits, dependant consumers, growing climate insecurity and disaster capitalism. This conference is a classic 1% stitch up. This conference is the wrong people asking the wrong questions and proposing the wrong solutions.
2. Climate justice
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Climate change is already affecting millions of people around the world, as weather patterns become more unpredictable and natural disasters become more frequent and severe.
The self-serving agendas of rich corporations and governments, as represented in the UK Energy Summit, perpetuate and exacerbate climate change, whilst preventing any meaningful attempts to stop it, and those least responsible for causing the crisis suffer most as a result of it.
3. Energy democracy
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This summit exemplifies how putting profit before people will only cause ongoing chaos. There is a positive solution to these problems, and it is a community-controlled energy system.
Together, we can organize a new, democratic, decentralised, social and renewable energy system. Because access to clean energy is a right, not a commodity. Clean energy and a liveable world for all are possible if energy is taken out of corporate control.