Energy UK Says Profits Are Needed
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
Angela Knight, the chief executive of Energy UK’s industry trade association has firmly stated that she is in favour of the profit that this sector has made. She said that these profits are vital for the future infrastructural investments of energy companies. Furthermore Angela Knight said that profits are variable and connected to the costs of fuels such as gas and coal, which is of great importance in the UK’s daily energy needs. She pointed out that there has been a steady increase in fuel costs and upon reflecting on detailed cost analysis, that cost increases in the industry are significant, although she also stated that the profit is a good thing when consideration is given to the vast amount of investment that is required in the energy sector.
The Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECCC) has emphasised a greater need for transparency in the industry. In so doing it has asked that Ofgem do something to restore the flagging confidence experienced currently in the consumer market. MP’s have asked that amongst other things, the billing methods be simplified thus making them more understandable to the general public. They would also like to see comparative pricing brought in so that the consumer can decide with which company they wish to deal. A general lack of communication as to why energy bills are ever increasing and an explanation thereof would go a long way to appease consumers who are struggling to meet the ever increasing costs of energy supplies.
The ECCC report has taken government to task on the issue of families that fall into the low-income bracket; millions of families live in poorly insulated housing and are struggling with what they call fuel poverty. Gillian Guy of Citizens Advice has said that there were 91 000 fuel debt problems dealt with by the Bureau in the last year, and with record profits reported for the energy sector, lower income citizens were hard pressed to meet their fuel bills, which consequently necessitated the incurrence of debt and a cutback on household necessities.
Liberal Democrat MP Sir Robert Smith has stated that at a time when people are struggling to meet ever inflating energy costs, it is important that consumers are reassured that their detriment is not due to huge profits in the coffers of the big six energy suppliers in the UK.
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