Mounting protests have been staged in the UK, despite government’s efforts to assure consumers that they are doing everything humanly possible to help curb the rising cost of energy bills. Not only is government making it mandatory for companies to advise consumers in writing if there are cheaper plans available, but they are also in the midst of an £11 billion rollout of smart meters which are supposed to make energy consumption more efficient.
Even so, late last month protesters met outside Centrica’s headquarters to protest what they are calling a major ‘rip-off’ in energy bills which are supposedly higher because of the rising cost of gas. According to Greenpeace, there were at least 50 people blockading the road leading to Centrica’s main offices in Windsor, Berkshire. Protesters were flaunting a spoof energy bill that is said to have been 260 feet square.
Not only were protesters marching outside Centrica HQ but they also barricaded several entrances with wooden planks with real bills attached to them and at one point they were actually within the building looking to find Sam Laidlaw’s offices, the chief exec of Centrica. Their intention was to ‘redecorate’ his office by wallpapering it with energy bills.
The bottom line for these irate consumers is the fact that the average energy bill rose by as much as £150 in the previous year of which at least £100 was said to be the result of higher gas prices. Subsidies for ‘going green’ are not rising as they had been promised and the UK is more dependent than ever before on imported gas. The group wants Centrica to ‘get off gas’ and onto sustainable, renewable energy which they feel is the best way to lower bills.