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MP slams big energy companies as treating customers as 'cash cows'

August 23, 2011 4:04 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

Local MP Tim Farron has today blasted the 'big six' energy companies for continuing to push for inflation busting price rises which hurt people in the South Lakes and treat them as 'cash cows'.

Despite the recent outrage at Scottish Power for their proposed increase for domestic gas and electricity bills, British Gas recently announced their own plans to raise the tariffs for both gas and electricity by an average of 18% and 16% respectively.

Npower is the latest of the big six energy providers to announce price rises of an average 15.7% for gas and an average 7.2% for electricity from 1 October. British Gas, SSE, and E.ON have all announced a hike in prices for later this summer or autumn by up to a 19% average.

In June, Tim wrote to OFGEM to raise the issue of the rise in Scottish Power's gas and electricity bills, which they proposed at 19% and 10%. The rise in prices would negatively influence many people in the South Lakes. The regulator then agreed that these price rises needed to be investigated.

Tim has called for OFGEM to be stronger and has said that if they don't act he will ask the government to step in and regulate the market more strongly.

Commenting, Tim said "Hard working local families in South Lakeland cannot afford 16% and 18% price rises - it is obscene when the energy companies are making such huge profits! British Gas made operating profits of £585m for the first half of 2010, up 98% on the same period last year. I am now calling on OFCOM to act and if they don't I will push strongly for the government to step in.

"We need to really look at social tariffs and make sure that these exorbitant price rises are curbed."