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GMB CALLS FOR ENERGY BILLS TO BE CAPPED AS STUDY SHOWS PRICE SURGE

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Press release - March 23, 2017

GMB CALL FOR ENERGY BILLS TO BE CAPPED AS NEW UNION STUDY SHOWS PRICE INCREASES OF UP TO 32% FOR ELECTRICITY AND 26% FOR GAS

The pantomime that passes for UK energy policy and energy bills regulation continues as the very idea of a competitive market in a natural monopoly is a contradiction in terms says GMB

GMB, the union for workers in the energy sector, is calling for Energy bills to be capped as a new study shows that electricity price increases of up to 32.3% and gas prices of up to 26.4% have been implemented in the last few months.

GB Energy has increased electricity prices by 32.3%, Flow by 18%, npower by 15%, SSE by 14.9% and E.ON by 13.8%.

GB Energy has increased gas prices by 26.4%, LoCO2 by 9.9%, First Utility by 8.8%, Bristol Energy by 5.9% and npower by 4.8%.

The table below shows how much electricity and gas prices have increased over the last 4 month:

Headline Bill Change

 

 

 

Announcement

Implementation

Gas

Electricity

GB Energy

12/10/2016

15/11/2016

26.4%

32.3%

Flow

09/11/2016

09/11/2016

-

18.0%

npower

03/02/2017

16/03/2017

4.8%

15.0%

SSE

13/03/2017

28/04/2017

-

14.9%

E.ON

07/03/2017

26/04/2017

3.8%

13.8%

Bulb

17/11/2016

17/12/2016

3.6%

13.6%

OVO

21/11/2016

10/01/2017

-1.9%

11.9%

Scottish Power

10/02/2017

31/03/2017

4.7%

10.8%

Bristol Energy

28/11/2016

28/11/2016

5.9%

10.6%

First Utility

24/02/2017

01/04/2017

8.8%

10.5%

EDF

16/12/2016

6/1/17 (Gas) & 1/3/17 (Elec)

-5.2%

8.4%

Ecotricity

17/10/2016

14/11/2016

3.8%

7.8%

Cooperative Energy

23/02/2017

01/04/2017

3.0%

7.6%

LoCO2

25/11/2016

01/01/2017

9.9%

4.7%

Cooperative Energy

26/08/2016

01/10/2016

2.95%

2.93%

GB Energy

26/11/2016

26/11/2016

GB ENERGY CEASED TRADING

Justin Bowden, GMB national secretary for Energy said:

"The pantomime that passes for UK energy policy and energy bills regulation continues.

"GMB has always ridiculed the very idea of a competitive market in a natural monopoly because it is a contradiction in terms that we all pay for through our energy bills.

“Ofgem has been a purring pussycat for years and should be abolished with all its regulatory functions taken over by the government itself making its regulatory role subject to scrutiny and accountable to parliament with the powers to cap prices if deemed necessary.

“The regulator had powers to cap prices after the industry was privatised but when the so-called 'free' market was introduced into a natural monopoly the regulator lost the powers and the big six were given a free hand.

"We know what happened next."

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary said:

"The argument that energy companies are fixing prices doesn't really stack up.

"The Competition Markets Authority reported in July 2015 and did not suggest there was price fixing.

“The behaviour of some energy companies - especially the smaller ones - with frequent eye-watering increases, suggest companies are in real trouble [see table above].

"When small energy companies go bust it hits consumers and Ofgem then has to find a company to take on those consumers' accounts.

“The introduction of competition was supposed to deal with the problems in the energy market and drive down prices.

"The strategy clearly isn't working. Wholesale prices have been volatile and it is leaving small companies vulnerable.

"The volatility was driven in part by damage to the interconnetor to France and by problems in the French nuclear fleet.

"This further highlights concerns over security of supply and energy self-sufficiency.

"Another question that the government will need to address is where investment is going to come from for new power stations?

"Margins are already very tight and are set to get worse.

"GMB Scotland is also concerned that energy companies could respond by cutting jobs and offshoring even more work."

ENDS

Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351; GMB Scotland contact Peter Welsh on 07976 447077; GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or press.office@gmb.org.uk

 

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