10 February 2017
As it's Valentine's Day, we thought we'd shout loud and proud about how much we love public ownership of energy and how we can make it happen.
"E.ON is red, SSE is blue
The Big Six are over - public energy, we love you!"
I was four in 1986 so I don't remember the 'Tell Sid' campaign to encourage people to buy shares in the newly privatised British Gas. But I do know what's happened since.
Most of us don’t own shares in energy companies – in fact Thatcher’s idea of an individual shareholder economy hasn’t happened at all. The Big Six supply energy to 95% of us. We don’t have a say. And we pay far too much for our energy.
68% of us want public ownership of energy. And the exciting thing is that we can start creating it right now. Here's what you can do to help make it happen:
1) Switch to public energy
These days there are more and more options for energy that works for people not profit. You can switch today to show your support and save money. As Valentine's Day approaches, we're going to be spreading the word about these companies and what they're doing to support clean, green energy and local communities. (We Own It isn't getting any money to promote these companies - we just want to support them!) If you love public energy, why not pick one of these to switch to?
- Bristol Energy - Bristol's new public energy company, open to all of us across the UK.
- Our Energy - the people's energy company, returning 75% of profits to people
- Our Power - Scotland's answer to fairer energy, a not for profit company set up by housing associations
- Robin Hood Energy - the very first council owned public energy company in the UK, set up in Nottingham
- White Rose Energy - set up by Leeds City Council
2) Support these campaigns
These campaigns are doing fantastic work, let's get behind them:
- Switched On London - campaigning for a new public energy company for London, with some success!
- Power for the People - demanding a publicly owned energy network. Get your T-shirt here.
- Fuel Poverty Action - a grassroots campaign for lower fuel bills and a more sustainable energy system
3) Get inspired
Public ownership can sometimes seem like a pipe dream. It's not. In this video, Professor David Hall explains how we can let the Big Six 'rot on the vine' as we create better alternatives that work for people not profit.
And here's what that plan for moving towards public ownership looks like (read more here):