The Big Six energy companies are ripping us off and making billions in profits. It’s time to fight back, says Andy Atkins, Executive Director of Friends of the Earth

 A lightning bolt of anger has shot through the British public over the last few days – and it’s not because of some kind of freak weather event. Families up and down the land are up in arms over soaring energy bills – now averaging an eye-watering £1300 a year – and the Government’s recent energy summit, where the Prime Minister summoned the Big Six energy companies with barely a slap on the wrist for hiking prices, will do nothing to sooth them.

The public is angry with good reason: the Big Six energy companies – household names like British Gas, EDF and E.ON – are ripping us all off and making billions in profit. It’s an issue that truly affects us all, as they supply 99 per cent of households in the UK. So when they hike prices – to the tune of an average 12 per cent this year alone – there’s barely a soul in the land who isn’t affected. With profits soaring at the same time, and bosses picking up pay packets of over £1 million a year, it’s enough to send a shock of rage through any system.

It’s a nightmare scenario – and one, without the Government acting, shows no signs of ending any time soon. Our energy bills are rocketing because our energy system is broken– it’s as simple as that. The Big Six energy companies are keeping us hooked on expensive imported gas, and it suits them pretty nicely to keep it that way – after all, any increases in the price they can just pass onto their customers: us.

Recent Friends of the Earth research shows that every household in the UK faces extra costs of £300 a year by 2020 if the big energy companies invest in a new fleet of gas and coal-fired power stations and ditch plans to help us save energy and harness power from the wind, waves and sun. Yet this is exactly the route that will bring a better deal for consumers in the long-run.

Enough is enough. The Government needs to act to tackle the Big Six energy companies. That’s why Friends of the Earth has launched its Final Demand campaign for energy we can all afford. We need a public inquiry into the Big Six’s power and urgent action to stop the Government killing off our clean British energy providers. The time for talking shops is over. Come on, Prime Minister: act.

Join Friends of the Earth’s Final Demand campaign at