RWE npower’s debt collection and pre-payment office in Leeds blockaded this morning, Monday 1st June 2015
This morning (1 June 2015) ten people began a blockade of RWE npower offices outside Leeds to protest their role in CO2 emissions, climate change and fuel poverty.
Carrying a banner reading “Fight the npower” the group locked themselves across the entrance to the offices. These offices are responsible for RWE npower’s prepayment meters and debt collection. RWE npower were targeted for their role in escalating fuel poverty, while receiving massive government subsidies.
The group are with Reclaim the Power who are holding a day of action against the fossil fuel industry on Monday 1st June – following a large protest camp outside Didcot gas-fired power station over the weekend. Reclaim the Power have previously held two protest camps in Balcombe and Blackpool, targeting fracking firm Cuadrilla and its associates . The camp was timed to coincide with an international weekend of action leading up to the UN climate negotiations in Paris this December.
RWE npower were chosen as a target for their role in the “dash for gas”, described by David Kennedy CEO of the UK Committee on Climate Change as “completely incompatible with the UK’s legally binding climate obligations.” The big six energy companies are also responsible for increasing levels of fuel poverty, which resulted in 18,200 excess winter deaths in the winter of 2013/14, according to the Office for National Statistics. The group Fuel Poverty Action describes gas as responsible for sixty per cent of the £360 increase in the average energy bill in the last decade.
One of the protesters Maisie Bell, 28, care assistant from Bradford said:
“RWE npower are the biggest CO2 emitter in Europe. They are committing us to untold damage from climate change, while taking none of the responsibility. We’re here today to highlight the hypocrisy of big energy companies profiting from a continued investment in destructive fossil fuels.”
Keith, one of the protesters from Hebden Bridge, said:
“We’re here today to highlight the hypocrisy of big energy companies profiting from a continued investment in destructive fossil fuels. RWE npower paid no corporation tax for three years, while forcing the most vulnerable people deeper into fuel poverty through the use of prepayment meters, standing charges and debt collection.”
Notes to editors:
Reclaim the Power is a grass roots direct action network aiming to join the dots between environmental, economic and social justice.
In 2013 Reclaim the Power held a camp in Balcombe, West Sussex, a community threatened by the prospect of shale oil and gas extraction by fracking company Cuadrilla.
In 2014 Reclaim the Power held a camp near Blackpool, Lancashire, where Cuadrilla were seeking two licenses for fracked oil and gas production wells.
Reclaim the Power grew out of No Dash for Gas, the group which occupied and shut down the cooling towers at West Burton power station——
Contact the Reclaim the Power media team on: 07597 136793