Britain’s “Big 6” Energy Companies Considered More Socially Responsible Than Grocery Stores

Energy companies get a bad rap, but socially-conscious “Big 6” are found to be more giving than grocery stores

Electricians on High Voltage

The concept is simple – if a grocery store manager came face to face with a hungry, yet underfunded, shopper, would they take extra measures to ensure the shopper left with a cartful of food at discounted prices? Or, would they help put financial plans in place to help the shopper save more money and better prepare him or her for their next food purchase? Besides running a page of random coupons in each Sunday’s newspaper, grocers don’t actively seek out ways to save their customers money and help these consumers become more financially stable.


Now consider the role of the energy company. These organization actively fund thermal improvement projects in older homes, help distribute and fund educational programs focused on wise energy usage, and tout the benefits of the energy conservation movement and green energy investment. Interestingly enough, these activities serve to reduce the amount of energy that is needed by the consumer – which seems to go against the basic tenets of a for-profit entity. But energy companies know that there is more to the industry than simply selling as much electricity, oil, and gas as possible. There is a balance that must be struck between extracting, refining, and selling resources at a profit, and ensuring that there is a balance between energy production and energy consumption.


The “Big 6” – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON UK, nPower, Scottish Power, and SSE, all have some sort of social responsibility plan in place that fosters energy education, conservation tips and ideas, and funding for thermal improvement projects. These companies understand that many British citizens are in a “heat or eat” situation, in which the choice to heat their homes must be weighed against the choice to eat food. Knowing that the stability of the overall British economy is significantly tied to the micro-economics of the individual household, these big oil companies have helped solidify the economy in the UK. Now ask yourself, would your local grocer do the same?