Households 'right to be furious' over energy profits

Households 'right to be furious' over energy profits

15 April 2013

Posted by Kim Bardsley

Homeowners across the UK are "right to be furious" that energy companies are recording increasing profits as they struggle to meet rising bills.

That is according to Citizens Advice, which has urged the firms to consider the effects higher prices are having on households.

Gillian Guy, the organisation's chief executive, said: "The Big Six energy companies need to remember that their huge profits come at the expense of their customers, many of whom face a choice between heating and eating."

These comments come after the publication of figures by industry regulator Ofgem estimating that the Big Six have almost doubled their profit margins over the last 18 months and are currently earning an average of £95 per household. According to the watchdog, this profit will surpass £100 per household within the next 12 months.

A number of figures have also condemned the data, including fuel poverty campaigners, rival energy companies and Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary.

Energy executives are set to appear before parliament's energy and climate change committee tomorrow (April 16th) and will face further calls for the industry to be reformed. The appearance is part of an enquiry titled "energy prices, profits and poverty" and critics are keen to see changes to remove the monopoly on supply held by the Big Six.

Sam Robertson from campaign group Fuel Poverty Action told the Guardian: "This cold-blooded profiteering has to stop, but piecemeal market reforms will not go far enough, especially given the threat of a dash for gas that will send bills through the roof."

A spokesman for Ofgem said the onus is now on the energy companies to justify the profits they are making to consumers, with the watchdog now forcing them to regularly release internal figures.

Consumers who wish to take control of their fuel spending can look to utilise a home heating oil system. As a result, households will be able to take advantage of the savings available through BoilerJuice's group buying scheme.

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