More energy bills set to rise

Another one wanting to cash in on the back of the poor

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Just after British Gas increasing its prices by 7% ScottishPower has followed British Gas in introducing price increases just as more cold weather is predicted.

Both energy companies have denied purposely increasing prices before winter but claimed the decision was down to 'sustained increases' in the wholesale energy market. I think I have to see greater cynics than those power companies, aside from politicians.

It is the first time in more than two years that ScottishPower has announced a rise in energy prices, and follows a 26% increase in the cost of wholesale energy for an average Dual Fuel customer since the company reduced its prices in March this year. That at least is the claim by the company. How do we know what they pay wholesale for gas? We don't for they refuse to tell us.

However, the firm claims, that following price hikes by British Gas and Scottish & Southern Energy, ScottishPower's standard combined Gas and Electricity offer will be cheaper than those offered by both companies, but only for customers who pay monthly by Direct Debit.

ScottishPower's gas prices are set to increase by an average of 2% with electricity prices going up by an average of 8.9%.

Customers will see an annual average increase to a Dual Fuel energy bill of £54, affecting about 2.5million households across Britain.

The change announced on November 22 came into force from November 25, and this, as said, just as the cold weather was beginning to bite.

ScottishPower's director of energy retail, Raymond Jack, said: "We understand times are difficult for many people, and we have done all we can to keep energy prices as low as possible for as long as possible.

"Over the last two years our energy prices to customers have decreased and we are committed to being fair to customers and offering value for money over the longer term.

"The change in prices announced today is as a result of sustained increases in the wholesale energy market, with the wholesale costs for an average Dual Fuel customer up 26% March 2010

"The rising burden of non-energy costs faced by Britain's energy suppliers, including the cost of meeting government environmental and social programs and the cost of distributing electricity on the national grid, has also placed further upward pressure on energy bills."

It is, as I have said, extremely difficult to assess as to whether the companies really have had to pay higher rates for wholesale gas and electricity as energy is traded on a futures market and the companies will not disclose how much they actually pay and when they bought the right for the gas, etc.

Thus they could, and more than likely are, lying to all of us and use the cold weather to fleece their customers.

© 2010