The UK’s cost of living disaster has prompted one of the country’s largest consultancy and accountancy firms to close most of its workplaces for Christmas to slash its heating and electricity bills.
PricewaterhouseCoopers has directed its 24,000 UK staff to close its posh central London headquarters at 1 Embankment Place, as well as many other smaller workplaces across the country, in a bid to save huge amounts of electricity.
The choice would be the first time PwC has completely closed the vast majority of its buildings during the festive season. Even amid the coronavirus outbreak, the agency has reserved its workplace for emergency use.
“Since many people use the holiday season as an opportunity to take some time off, and workplaces are often quieter during this time, we may take this opportunity to reduce our This area was insulated and lightweighted,” PwC instructed its staff in a memo leaked to The Telegraph.
PwC may briefly close its swanky central London office (pictured) over the festive period to save big on electricity bills
Heating and electricity bills have soared in the 12 months since Russia invaded Ukraine, causing some businesses to close their doors for good and causing misery for thousands of cash-strapped Britons.
Last month, National Grid warned that there could be rolling blackouts this winter if it cannot import enough fuel and electricity from Europe.
But since then, the country’s power crisis has intensified, the construction of new energy stations has been delayed, and the amount of energy Britain imports from France is expected to fall sharply.
National Grid has almost activated its winter contingency plans for the first time, which could lead to power producers using less electricity during peak hours. However, this is called off at the 11th hour.
Authorities have been under pressure to respond to the electricity disaster, which has seen thousands of companies close due to the cost of living disaster.
Current figures put the number of closed businesses at more than 20,000 by the end of September 2022 – an increase of 72% since 2021.
PwC has 19 offices in the UK and is known as one of the “Big Four” accounting firms in the UK. But it does take an optimistic view of employees working from home.
Kevin Ellis (pictured), chairman of PwC UK, said the choice to close buildings briefly was part of its “pragmatic approach” to save a lot of money as electricity bills continue to soar
The choice would be the first time PwC has completely closed the vast majority of its buildings during the festive season. Even amid the coronavirus outbreak, the agency has reserved its workplace for emergency use.Pictured is the interior of the organization’s Embankment website
During the first Christmas period of the 2020 pandemic, PwC didn’t completely shut down its workplaces. Regardless of the surge in cases related to the Omicron variant of Covid-19 over the next 12 months of the festive season, it will store them all.
Kevin Ellis, the agency’s UK chairman, wrote at the time that “there is no substitute for meeting someone face-to-face”.
Mr Ellis added in an interview with The Daily Telegraph over the weekend: “Workplace life is very important to our traditions and businesses, but with the power shortages keeping all our workplaces on holiday It doesn’t make sense to be open during the period.”
‘Our personal needs are that we do our part to reduce electricity consumption. We’ve taken a realistic approach by keeping some workplaces across the country open to those who need them.
It is understood that PwC’s London staff will still be able to access workspaces at the firm’s Extra London offices.