02 January 2014

Power corrupts

I do not know if the Labour Party is correct when it argues that the energy companies are over-charging consumers.  The miasma engendered by claim and counter-claim makes it difficult to see what is going on,  The Guardian reports:
Households may have paid £150 over the odds for their electricity over the past three years because energy companies bought their power for almost £4bn more than the average market rate, Labour has claimed.
In a new analysis of official figures, the Labour party, which has pledged to freeze prices for 20 months if it wins the general election in 2015, said the big six energy suppliers appear either to be inflating their prices to make extra profits for their own power plants, or striking very expensive deals to the detriment of consumers.
Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, said she could demonstrate that the energy giants – which supply 98% of households in Britain – have been buying electricity at a far higher price than they could get on the open market. This amounts to about £50 a year per household for the last three years for which data is available, she said.
But at least the Labour Party is questioning the practice of the energy companies.  Does anyone believe that the Government would have done anything if Miliband had not raised the matter of a price freeze last autumn?  And would it be unfair to ask what Ofgem, the supposed regulator, has been doing?

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