On 29 January, as part of an Occupy-style protest, six Fuel Poverty Action activists barricaded themselves into meeting rooms on two floors of the British Gas offices in Staines, Middlesex.
The protests were part of Fuel Poverty Action’s ‘Winter Warmup’ weekend, drawing attention to a situation where a large portion of the population must choose to either ‘heat or eat’.
Protesters also held demonstrations in Cambridge, Leeds, London, Manchester and Swindon, targeting the ‘Big Six’ major energy companies: British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power Business, and Scottish and Southern.
The last few winters have seen a rise in deaths as a result of cold temperatures. Last winter, there were 25,700 excess deaths between December and March compared with non-winter months.
Protesters, who claim that most of these deaths were the result of fuel poverty, drew attention to the ‘Big Six’s’ 700% increase in profit per person over the past five years.