ENERGY PRICE RISE CONDEMNED – UNISON demands profits inquiry

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Yet another energy supplier, E.On, yesterday announced huge increases in gas and electricity prices to domestic consumers.

It is hiking gas prices by 15 per cent and electricity prices by 9.7 per cent, with effect from today, 8 February.

The German-owned company, formerly Powergen, is the latest of the big utility providers to increase prices.

A spokesperson for UNISON commented to News Line: ‘This is yet another addition to rising household bills that will hit customers hard.

‘Rising prices just add to the misery of low paid UNISON members who are already struggling to make ends meet.

‘On top of that they face a 2 per cent pay limit which is effectively a pay cut.

‘We call for an enquiry into the massive profits made by energy companies this year, at huge costs to household consumers.’

E.On blamed a 60 per cent increase in wholesale prices since February for the rise in customers’ bills.

It said that 670,000 vulnerable customers will have the increase delayed a couple of months, until 1 April.

E.On is the fifth big private energy supplier to announce double-digit rises, after similar moves in recent weeks by British Gas, Npower, EDF and Scottish Power.

British Gas, the UK’s biggest power supplier, increased gas and electricity prices by 15 per cent in January.

Also in January, Npower raised its electricity prices by 12.7 per cent and its gas prices by 17.2 per cent and EDF Energy also put up its electricity tariffs by 7.9 per cent and gas bills by 12.9 per cent.

Most recently, Scottish Power increased gas bills by 15 per cent and electricity bills by 14 per cent.

Consumer watchdog Energywatch director of campaigns, Adam Scorer said: ‘E.On’s customers didn’t have long to wait for their share of the price pain.

‘You can hardly put a pin between the suppliers’ percentage rises.

‘The actual difference between the direct debit, dual fuel prices of the suppliers who have raised prices remains at just £13.

‘All the companies have quoted different percentage rises in wholesale gas costs, all the companies have different electricity generation they all have different hedging strategies, yet they come within £13 of each other on a £1,000 bill.’