Government Requests Energy Companies to Hold Increases
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
Both David Cameronís government and the opposing parties would like to see energy bills curbed and are trying to find ways in which to do so. In a bid to stop rising energy costs, the government has made an appeal to the Big Six Energy Companies to keep prices at their current levels until mid-2015, which is of course with the provision that there are no price rises in wholesale fuel which would be out of the control of the energy companies.
Ed Miliband of the Labour party has pledged to freeze prices of gas and electricity for a period of 20 months if they win the election in 2015 which will see prices remain static until 2017. This pledge has been labelled as a con by David Cameronís government, saying that international fuel prices are not controlled in Britain and would therefore depend on the market price fluctuations.
Essentially, what David Cameron wants is to have an agreement with the Big Six to keep prices steady unless international markets dictate differently and that this would be in place for a year and a half. This move would pre-empt any energy increases until the following election in 2015. There have been mixed reactions from various quarters surrounding this latest attempt to bring down the costs of gas and electricity, which is becoming a serious problem for many consumers who are battling to meet the new energy costs after increases were announced by the Big Six Energy Companies a short while back.
Caroline Flint, of the Labour party has said that the only way to ensure no more increases is by passing legislation to that effect, and went on to say that it is highly unlikely that David Cameron would do something like that for fear of reprisals from the energy companies. EnergyUK chief executive Angela Knight has once more pointed out that the energy companies are only responsible for 18% of the total cost of energy bills, and has once more reiterated her firm belief that a 5% profit margin is not excessive in her opinion.
An unnamed source from within the Big Six has said that he was in favour of the move, but that there was concern as to price fluctuations in the international arena. The source also said that issues surrounding the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme are a stumbling block that needs to be resolved. George Osborne is due to release his Autumn Statement soon which it is hoped will bring some relief.
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