Here is a round-up of the weekly news from UK energy suppliers:
EDF Energy workers “set to strike” over pay dispute.
The Unite union has announced that staff will walk out in protest at pay cuts job losses and extended hours, saying if the “unacceptable” proposals were allowed to go through, some of its members would lose up to £6,000 a year.
The Unite union said that its members, which includes meter readers and fixers, office staff and managers, will take part in a two-day strike on 12th and 20th August. EDF has withdrawn the London allowance “which means a pay cut of up to £6,000” as already mentioned above.
Fifty three million gas and electricity meters are expected to be installed in homes and small businesses by 2020 under the government’s smart meter scheme. The union is accusing EDF of failing to abide by last year’s agreement whereby current staff wold no be adversely affected by the company’s programme to introduce smart metering.
In answer to Unites concerns The Big Six suppler said it was consulting with four trade unions over a number of proposed changes to operations within its metering division. A spokesperson added “We are looking to operate within a wider working-day window, as we commence the installation of millions of smart meters in our customers’ homes across the country”. According to them, existing employees will not be asked to work hours outside of those stated in their contracts.
Yesterday over 1,200 construction workers took part in a strike at the Sellafield nuclear power plant in Cumbria… Looks like a tough time ahead for both EDF and its unsettled workforce.
E.ON has been a leader in the industry in responding to customer demands and wishes, making the energy market fairer and simpler for small businesses, according to The Telegraph.
Anthony Ainsworth, Director of B2B, tells Business Club how it has implemented a number of reforms. Including “automatic rollover” contracts, (this can be viewed via The Telegraph, by means of a short video). This means that customers who fail to renew a fixed term contract are automatically “rolled” into a new deal. With E.ON fixed means fixed, and changes to variable non-energy costs are not passed on to the SME customer afterwards. There is also the industry-leading Energy Toolkit, an online package of help and advice for small businesses. Good to know that E.ON is supporting SME customers.
People Power wins the day, as a COMMUNITY bid to take over the site of the former Cockenzie power station is set to go before the Scottish Government after a whopping ten per cent of the local population backed the plans. The suggested plans and the scale of the proposals could see the disused power station transformed into a “Tate Modern for Scotland”. The plans could include shops, a swimming pool and even some performance space, according to The Edinburgh Evening News.
Earlier in the year controversy over proposals for a marine energy park on the site were abandoned after prolonged protest from the local community. If that wasn’t tough enough, it was revealed that developers were eager to construct Scotland’s first purpose built cruise ship terminal on the mainland. The group behind the proposals, (community), are the Coastal Regeneration Alliance or (CRA)-they originally set up to fight the energy park plans, in an effort to “safeguard our open green space for future generations”. More than 1200 people have signed a petition backing the buy-out so far. The initial plans are set to be submitted to the Scottish Government. A hard won battle to defeat the controversial energy park proposal, people power at its best.