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Public asked to give generously to help Big Six Energy companies!

news release

On the first day of the Tory Party conference, Manchester Friends of the Earth members will be moonlighting as spoof street fundraisers intent on raising funds for beleaguered Energy companies who, despite record profits, persist in trying to convince UK consumers and the government that they are struggling to make ends meet.

The stunt aims to highlight that our energy system is broken and that the six giant energy
companies that make massive profits by keeping us hooked on expensive and insecure fossil fuels must face up to the anger people feel towards them. [1] Their record profits have coincided with unmanageable consumer price rises. Instead of investing in the UK’s energy supply, they’ve made enormous payments to shareholders, leaving bill payers and taxpayers to pick up the tab. [2]

Ofgem has launched a legal investigation into their charging practices, having found them
guilty of ripping us off to the tune of £250m earlier in the year.

Research by Friends of the Earth has shown that:
• 99% of household energy is supplied by the Big Six energy companies

• Energy bills have almost doubled since 2004

• In one year gas prices have risen by over a quarter

• The profits of the Big Six have increased by nearly a third since 2008

• 75% of the Big Six’s energy comes from fossil fuels

• The Big Six are under investigation on profits, prices and questionable practices.

Ali Abbas, Manchester Friends of the Earth Energy Campaign Co-ordinator said:
“Securing energy we can all afford in the long term needs bold leadership from the
government. Ministers must help us cut the energy that is wasted in our homes while
ensuring a broader base of energy suppliers. As a first step, this means guaranteeing an
ambitious feed-in tariff scheme that rewards households, communities and businesses for generating clean energy and helps free us all from the shackles of the big six.”

Photo opportunity: Time: 2.30 –3.30pm, Sunday 2nd October. Location: Opposite
Midland Hotel / St Peters Square.

ENDS

CONTACTS FOR COMMENTS
Ali Abbas, Manchester Friends of the Earth Energy campaign co-ordinator. Mobile: 07786 090520

Catherine Thomson, Manchester Friends of the Earth Co-ordinator. Mobile: 07956
577206

Notes to Editors:

[1] Guardian, 15th September 2011. EDF admits: public has lost trust in energy companies.

[2] Chris Huhne in his speech to Liberal Democrat conference said “We are determined to get tough with the big six energy companies.” But he is yet to match his words with bold actions or set out how small players will enter the market. At the same time the Government is cutting feed-in  tariff support for business and communities to generate their own green energy.

[3] Friends of the Earth Press Release 12 July 2011. Green energy revolution needed to stabilise power bills – new analysis.

[4] Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk.
Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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