Scottish energy companies under further price pressure

Scottish Power looks like they could be in more trouble with Ofgem, but they are not alone in being questioned over price increases.

Ofgem introduced a rule which stops suppliers charging more for one payment method compared with another, unless it can be justified by cost. Today Ofgem announced they are investigating Scottish Power’s compliance with this licence condition. They are also collecting further information on suppliers’ approaches to setting price differences between payment methods as part of the first Competition Assessment they are carrying out with the OFT and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

This follows power firms in Scotland being accused of short-changing customers on the £50 green levy rebate by shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint, she said: “Cameron has relieved the power firms of their responsibilities and bunged them a £600million gift. SSE will not pass their discount until March. They put prices up in November so, in winter, customers are paying a higher price. ScottishPower will have their discount in January but it won’t apply to customers on fixed-term deals. So, we have the Prime Minister saying everyone is going to get £50 off their bills but it isn’t happening – certainly not for every customer.”

SSE added to consumer concerns by announcing profits soared to £1.5 billion this year and increasing payouts to shareholders. Pre-tax profit increased by 8.8 per cent for the year and dividends handed out to shareholders up by 3 per cent. This follows a price increase of £104.48 for SSE’s dual-fuel customers in November.

Scottish energy companies are doing little to assuage concerns that the consumer is being ripped off.

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