Local campaigners met with Northfield MP Richard Burden at Northfield Ecocentre today to share their concerns about local households struggling to heat their homes while energy companies enjoy record profits.
Yesterday EDF came under fire from Birmingham Friends of the Earth for stitching up customers as they announced a leap in profits, despite falling sales.
The local campaigning group is taking part in Friends of the Earth’s Final Demand campaign, which calls for a public inquiry into the power and influence of the big six energy companies – which control 99% of the household energy we use.
One quarter of British households are now in fuel poverty – in Birmingham this figure is 20% – while the big six continue to report record profits.
Members of the group met with Labour MP Burden to as for support for their campaign.
He said: ‘In Northfield and elsewhere, too many people find it difficult to make ends meet with their energy bills. This winter it’s going to be even more difficult for pensioners, with the cuts to winter fuel payments.
‘But there is something wrong when you see the big six energy companies’ increasing their profit margins – they make £125 per customer but they have increased prices by £175 in six months.
‘There is something wrong in the way the energy market works – we need to be finding practical ways of reforming the market and promoting renewables like solar and wind, that we need for the future.
‘Friends of the Earth’s Final Demand campaign rightly highlights some of these issues.’
Joe Peacock from Birmingham Friends of the Earth said: “We are glad that Mr Burden understands the need to wean this country off its dependence on fossil fuels and the impact the actions of the Big Six is having on people’s energy bills.
“We look forward to further support from him on these issues and recognise that he has been a big supporter of renewable energy initiatives in Northfield, such as those proposed by the Ecocentre.”