Campaigners this morning attempted to blockade Centrica’s headquarters with a giant energy bill in protest against “ripoff” energy prices.
Around 65 protesters from Greenpeace targeted the British Gas owner’s offices in Windsor with the 260ft energy bill on what looks like a portable billboard, which says “Your energy bill ripoff is being fuelled by gas hikes”.
Thames Valley Police were called to the scene at around 7am after it was reported protestors were blocking a road and causing a disturbance.
A statement from the police said: it will “continue to monitor the protest in liaison with the management of Centrica and the protest organiser, to ensure that it is conducted lawfully and peacefully”.
Lawrence Carter, a Greenpeace campaigner at the protest said: “The energy company Centrica is ripping us off. The bills that they are sending out are soaring, and that’s because Centrica uses too much expensive, imported gas.”
He said it would be better for Centrica to invest in “clean, cutting-edge renewable energy and energy efficiency” to bring household bills under control.
The protestors had originally sealed the building’s entrances with large bills which were printed on to sheets of wood and locked to the doors.
Centrica wouldn’t say whether its workers had been affected by the protest action however it said in a statement: “Our priority is to ensure the safety of our employees, the general public and the protesters. To that end, we are maintaining a constant line of contact to the police, the emergency services and the local authorities.”
The energy firm defended its prices saying it “recognised the impact that higher energy prices are having on household budgets”, pointing to its involvement in schemes such as the Warm Homes Discount.
The blockade by Greenpeace heralds the beginning of a week protesters are dubbing the “Big Six energy bash”, set to culminate in a mass protest on Thursday in London.