Bills are going up. Gas and electricity are expensive. We all know this, and to an certain extent, we’ve accepted it too.
Many householders are at the point where hearing about yet another gas bill rise elicits no more than yet another sigh. And the ‘huge hike in electricity prices’ headlines barely seems to raise an eyebrow.
But hold on a minute…. the latest prediction from the energy watchdog concerning the UK’s six biggest power suppliers should not be simply accepted with a shrug of the shoulders.
Energy regulator Ofgem is predicting that the Big Six will draw a £110 profit out of every domestic property over the next 12 months. That more than triples their margins.
According to the Sunday Times, Ofgem says the average annual gas and electricity bill next year is £1,420, with an estimated £110 profit per household. In 2012, the average bill was £1,310.
Now we accept that this is a prediction – and that the energy companies explain the figures away as a “snapshot estimate” of profitability over the next year.
But this is profiteering on the back of hard-working families struggling in a tough economy. This is the UK’s largest power suppliers topping up the coffers while the cost of energy on the wholesale market has dropped.
It is heartening to hear that the Energy and Climate Change Committee is looking into the figures. The Government has launched an inquiry to investigate the profits of six energy companies amid complaints that householders were paying too much to heat their homes.
Committee chairman Tim Yeo says: “The suspicion of consumers is the power companies are exploiting the market to their own advantage.”
Ofgem says: “Trust in energy suppliers can only be restored if suppliers give a full and transparent explanation of price and profits to their customers.”
Organic Energy says: “The only real way to halt the crisis, of not only rising bills but scarcity of energy supplies, is to consider the alternative.”
With the proposed introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive for domestic installations later this year, thousands of householders may be about to discover what many of Organic Energy’s customers are already reporting – that the incentive in some cases more than covers the cost of the wood pellet fuel for their boilers.
So ironically, the alternative could see householders making a profit on their source of energy. Now wouldn’t that be a turnaround…..