Sunday, 12 June 2011

OUCH!

The news earlier this week that Scottish Power are going to raise the costs of their UK gas bills by 19% and electricity bills by 10% from August 1st, should not come as any great surprise. This is merely an unsavoury aspect of the the energy cartels behaviour. They have been at it for years. Centrica (back in May 2011), which incidentally owns British Gas, warned customers that they would face higher energy bills. Centrica says that "end-user prices" do not reflect the price they are paying for gas on the wholesale market.

Back in December 2010, British Gas customers were told that they faced a 7% rise in gas and electricity bills which came into effect on 10th December. As a result of rising wholesale prices, said British Gas. oddly enough British Gas has become the second major UK energy supplier to announce price increases for the winter months - when there is a greater demand, and coincidentally a greater profit to be made.

Scottish and Southern Energy also intend to raise their domestic gas charges by 9.4% at the start of December, blaming wholesale prices for the increase in customer bills. This price increase announcement, was made just before just before they reported a 6.1% fall in pre-tax profits to £386m in the first half of the company's financial year.

Domestic energy consumers (and any other kind of consumers for that matter) are facing the sharp end of sharp practice from the energy cartel. New Labour did nothing to curb rampant excessive profiteering from the energy companies during the 13 years in was in Government. Consumers can expect little from this Tory dominated Government which continues to sacrifice the people's interests before those of a fat profit for their dubious friends in the City?

Any pre Westminster election promises to investigate the 'energy market' have been already quietly dropped in August 2010 (the height of the silly season and slap bang in the middle of parliamentary recess) no doubt with the hope that hard pressed consumers and voters would not notice...

UPDATE:  the actual narrowness of the 'energy free market' and the real limit of competition can be quite surprising - Radio 4 (during the business news section) announcing that the Con Dems are planning to 'open up' the energy market to competition (from newer smaller companies), quietly understated that the Big 6 control some 99% of the 'energy market'. Wow that's a pretty good if extreme example of monopoly capitalism / cartel-like behaviour at its worse...

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