UK govt. blamed for fuel price hikes

British energy firms blame govt. policies for rise in fuel prices

SSE, one of Britain’s biggest energy companies, announces 8.2% hike in energy prices.

A British energy sector™s official has blamed the government for a new 8.2 percent rise in prices, which will add almost £104 to annual dual fuel bills for more than 7m households.

SSE, one of Britain’s biggest energy companies, said it will hike its prices from 15 November, blaming the hike on a 13 percent rise in government-imposed levies on energy bills, as well as the costs of enhancing electricity and gas networks and an increase in wholesale prices.

“We know we will come in for a great deal of criticism for this decision and politicians will no doubt be lining up to condemn us. But over many years policymakers themselves have failed to highlight adequately the cost to consumers of the policies they have pursued in government,” said Will Morris, group managing director of SSE’s retail business.

“They can’t expect to have power stations replaced with new technologies, the network to be upgraded and nationwide energy efficiency schemes all to be funded for free. And as an energy provider we are in the unenviable position of having to pass this cost on to customers through energy bills”, he added.

Morris challenged the coalition government, saying “if politicians want to do something to make bills cheaper and fairer, they should take the cost of government policies out of bills and fund them through general taxation instead”.

œIf that happens now it would take around £110 off household bills immediately”, said the official.

Meanwhile, other energy companies were urged not to increase their prices in order to prevent more families falling into poverty.

“This price rise will be a blow for stretched budgets. The hike comes at a time when some working households are turning to food banks to feed their families as they struggle to cope with the rising cost of living. I hope other energy firms show an understanding of their customers’ financial situation by not raising their prices this winter”, sais Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice appealing for a halt to price hikes.

The price rise was also described as “a crippling blow for consumers” by Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com.

“The danger now is that the other big six suppliers will follow suit. This raises the spectre of yet more households forced to cut back on their heating. Last winter almost seven-in-10 households went without heating at some point to keep their energy costs down, while over a third said that cutting back on energy usage was affecting their quality of life or health. This is the grim reality we face as the cost of energy spirals ever higher.”

MOL/HE

Copyright: Press TV