- Amber Rudd is the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary;
- She has written to the ‘big six’ amid concerns prices are too high;
- “My focus is to get the best deal for consumers” says Rudd;
- Energy firm’s profits are at an all-time high;
- The Competition and Markets Authority is also looking into unfair practices.
The ‘big six’ – British Gas, EDF, EON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE – have been urged by the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd, to lower their energy prices. Rudd has written to the big six urging them to lower energy prices amid the extinguished threat of Ed Milliband’s price freeze which was detailed in 2014. According to Rudd, energy prices should be falling amid a global fall in energy prices and the Energy and Climate Change Secretary has serious concerns that the ‘big six’ are boosting their huge profit margins rather than helping customers.
Rudd said: “My focus is to get the best deal for consumers and the Department is working hard to keep energy bills as low as possible. That is why I have written to energy companies asking them what their plans are to lower bills for hardworking British bill payers.”
Rudd’s letter to the big six comes while The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is conducting its own nationwide investigation into the big six, amid concerns that customers are being treated unfairly. The CMA is investigating whether the big six have been profiteering and should be broken up. Their investigation should be complete in late 2015 or early 2016; if it’s found that any of the big six have been treating customers unfairly, heavy fines will follow.
The energy market regulator, Ofgem, recently revealed the energy firms’ average profits have soared by 32 per cent in a year to £120 per household. This shows little sign of slowing, however Rudd’s intervention has at least put the big six’s actions into the spotlight once more. But with hard working families struggling to pay their bills, is Rudd’s intervention a case of too little, too late? Will there be any end to the big six’s price increases and scrupulous tactics?