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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Are the energy companies ripping us off?

The Guardian reports that a report commissioned by Energy UK, the industry lobby, has shown that the big six energy companies are extracting larger profits from households than they claimed.

The reports says that the cost of providing a dual fuel bill was £844 this year. However, TheBigDeal.com, a campaign group, say that the average bill was more than £1,000 and could be as much as £1,172 for standard tariff customers. Households on standard tariffs make up 70% of users despite lower rates on offer from shopping around.

They say that the figures suggest profit margins of up to 28% for British Gas, SSE, EDF, E.ON, npower and Scottish Power. That is seven times the 4% figure claimed by the industry and used by Ofgem, the energy regulator.

The business and energy secretary, Greg Clark, plans to meet energy company representatives to discuss this with them. He needs to lay down the law. Energy prices are high enough without companies taking advantage of their customers in this way. In particular the near monopoly position the companies are in cannot be tolerated much longer.
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