Big Six energy firms “deliberately” raising prices says Labour

Labour has accused the UK’s Big Six energy companies of “deliberately” raising the price of electricity generated at their own power stations, costing customers up to £150 over the last three years.

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint said that British Gas, E.ON, SSE, EDF, npower and Scottish Power paid £4bn more for power than the market rate.

Speaking to the Guardian, Flint said: “These figures reveal the full extent of the way consumers have been overcharged for their electricity.

“Energy companies always blame wholesale costs when they put up bills, but it now looks like they could have deliberately inflated prices to boost profits from their power stations.

“The time has come for a complete overhaul of our energy market. Labour will break up the big energy companies, put an end to the secret deals and force them to do all of their trading on the open market.”

However, Energy UK, a body which represents the Big Six firms said that Labour’s research was invalid as the figures cannot be compared.

A spokesman said:  “It also covers losses, the energy element of reconciliation-by-difference (RBD) costs and balancing and shaping costs incurred by the supply. The additional costs included in the weighted average cost of fuel make them a totally different figure to the basic wholesale market price.”

“It is also worth pointing out that there isn’t a single ‘wholesale’ price. Different companies buy at different times, from different people, for different prices depending on demand, forecasts and a whole host of other factors. These different business practices mean that each energy company will be paying a different amount for its wholesale energy.”

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