Millions ‘overpaying for energy’

Published: Tuesday 7th July 2015 by The News Editor

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Millions of people are overpaying for their energy, a year-long inquiry will reportedly say today.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probe into the energy market, launched in the wake of a pledge by Labour in 2013 to freeze prices if it won this year’s general election, is expected to outline moves to encourage customers to switch to lower-cost energy providers.

The Financial Times quoted an industry executive as saying: “There are three themes to this report. The first is people are paying more than is necessary; the second is that green levies and network costs are driving bills up; the third is regulation of the sector is not joined up and transparent.”

It is believed the report will announce that the so-called Big Six energy firms should not be dismantled to separate power generation and supply, and will find that the large companies have not been colluding to increase profits.

The six firms – British Gas, SSE, EDF Energy, RWE npower, E.ON and Scottish Power – have eagerly been awaiting the outcome of the report.

The GMB union, which represents energy workers, said the inquiry was a “convenient smoke screen” for the Government’s “betrayal” of the UK energy sector.

National officer Gary Smith said: “The inquiry was political cover in an attempt to divert attention from Labour’s price freeze promise. If anyone believes the inquiry will deliver lower prices for energy users they will be very disappointed.

“Whilst the heat on energy prices is off at the moment, the long-term trend, as the demand for energy continues to increase, is upwards.

“As we fiddle about trying to fix a market that doesn’t actually exist we are losing generating capacity and can’t get new power stations built.

“The Government’s energy policy amounts to handing over responsibility for our energy sector, including nuclear reactors lock stock and barrel to the Chinese state.

“The Government will also use the CMA announcement to try and hide the fact they have ditched their commitment to 70% of capital expenditure going through UK-based suppliers for offshore wind capacity.”

Published: Tuesday 7th July 2015 by The News Editor

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