New campaign to “Nationalise the Big Six” energy companies


In response to price hikes by energy firm Npower, we recently published an article by an Npower worker calling for the big energy companies to be nationalised. Now a campaign around this demand, “Nationalise the Big Six”, has been launched.

See the campaign website and Facebook page.

The campaign is calling for the demand to be raised in Labour Parties, trade unions, Momentum groups and student Labour Clubs.

For the launch statement, which you can sign here, see below.


We believe Labour should commit to putting the Big Six energy companies into public ownership, under democratic control.

The Big Six — British Gas, EDF, npower, E.ON, Scottish Power and SSE – currently profit from contributing to catastrophic climate change while making us pay extortionate energy bills (or else shiver in unheated homes).

Leading climate scientists believe that climate change exceeding 1.5°C is now likely. The government admits that 2.3 million families were living in fuel poverty this winter. At the same time, profits of the Big Six have increased tenfold since 2007.

We need massive investment into renewable energy and new ways of heating homes; and we urgently need to cut fossil fuels out of energy generation.

But doing those things is not profitable – and neither is cutting bills so that everyone can afford to heat their home in winter. For as long as the energy sector is run for private profit instead of social need, people and the climate will suffer.


  1. Excellent news.

    Two comments. First, such a nationalisation is only lawful because of Brexit. EU law forbids it. To give you chapter and verse: see Directive 2003/55/EC of 2003, and Directive 2003/54/EC of 2003. And no, these so-called “liberalisation directives” could not have somehow been easily repealed; to have done so would have required the unanimity of the Council of the European Union (i.e. the national governments). Crucially,, these directives would continue to apply to us if we have a “soft Brexit” such as membership of the European Economic Area.

    Second comment is that there is no need for socialists to limit themselves to energy when it comes to expanding public ownership. The campaign’s statement about the need to address public need rather than private profit applies to other sectors too. Early priorities for public ownership should therefor also include the major banks and insurance companies, the railways, the privatised parts of the NHS, steel, Royal Mail, telecommunications, water and oil. And our massive programme of public works should be based on the creation of new publicly owned organisations – NOT on paying private firms.

    1. Hi Danny, would you be willing to write something for the magazine on that argument about European law that you’ve made a few times? Cheers

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