Don’t Pay UK: This campaign group is calling on people to stop paying their energy bills
They hope a ‘mass non-payment’ strike will take place on October 1st
A campaign group called Don’t Pay UK is calling on people to stop paying their energy bills.
The “mass non-payment” strike is set to take place on October 1st.
Just this week, energy companies revealed they had made record-breaking profits.
Here’s some more information about the campaign, how you can get involved in the strike, and a rundown of the risks if you choose to do so.
What is the Don’t Pay UK campaign?
Ran by a group of anonymous activists, Don’t Pay UK was launched back in June.
An entry on Don’t Pay UK’s website reads: “Millions more will already be thinking about whether they’ll be able to pay come winter and afford the other things they need to survive for them and their families.
“Even more of us will be angry about paying more than double what we used to pay for the same amount we use. Let alone food, petrol and mortgages.”
Why does the group want an energy bills strike?
While many bear the brunt of the cost of living crisis, energy company BP revealed it made a profit of £6.9bn between April and June- over triple what the company made during the same months last year.
Energy companies in the UK are regulated by Ofgem. The regulator revealed the price cap on gas and electricity bills will be increased to as much as £1,800.
This means that by the end of 2023, the public’s annual bills are likely to increase to £3,800.
That’s why Don’t Pay UK are encouraging people to go on strike. Their website reads: “Even if a fraction of those of us who are paying by direct debit stop our payments, it will be enough to put energy companies in serious trouble, and they know this.
“We want to bring them to the table and force them to end this crisis.”
How do I get involved?
Currently, Don’t Pay UK is on the look out for local organisers to help spread the word. Follow this link to get involved.
The group says that currently 1,300 people have expressed interest in joining the movement.
After that, people will be able to pledge to not pay their bills from October 1st. More details to come.
But what are the risks?
Not paying your bills obviously comes with consequences, so please check with your own energy provider before you get involved.
SSE told Huff Post that in the first instance, they’d try and contact customers who were withholding bill payments. SSE adds: “In some cases we might also try to visit you at home to work out the best way to pay, but we’ll add the cost of this visit to your account.
“We may take a case to court to obtain a warrant to enter your home. We don’t want to, but sometimes we’re left with no choice.”
British Gas said it may pass people’s details onto a debt collection agency, apply for a Pay As You Go meter to be installed or even switch your smart meter to a pay as you go meter remotely.
Importantly, Don’t Pay UK is encouraging people on prepayment meters to not get involved. The same goes for people whose energy bills are included in their rent as they may face eviction if they withhold payments.