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Energy giant reports strong profits amid price hikes

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Energy giant SSE revealed that their half-year profits are up 38%, from £287.4m last year to £397.5m for the six months leading up to September this year.

SSE, one of the energy ‘Big Six’, has increased its gas and electricity prices last month by 9%. The price increase has affected 8.4m customers and will see the average energy bill rise by £119.

SSE is not the only energy company to increase its prices, 5 other companies have also put up there prices. EDF have put up their prices up as high as 10.8%.

Adam Scorer, director of policy and external affairs at Consumer Focus, said: “The furore over wholesale costs, energy pricing and company profits has deepened consumer distrust in the energy industry.

“Energy companies need to make profit so they can invest in our energy infrastructure.

“But if confidence is to be rebuilt in this market, the information that all energy firms are required to provide must be fully transparent, comparable, and include profit and trading information from across the whole of their business.”

Consumer Focus is calling for a more coherent approach by the Government and Regulator to ensure the energy market works for consumers:

• Customers do not know whether they can believe the relationship between energy prices, company profits and the wholesale price of energy. Greater transparency is vital to know whether there is scope for companies to avoid or limit price rises.

• Despite recent action from Ofgem and suppliers, the industry still makes it too difficult for consumers to take the simple actions that could save them money. The market must become less complex and less confusing otherwise consumers will not have the confidence to take action.

• Energy efficiency is the single most effective way to cut household bills, especially for those struggling to keep warm. From next year an average of £4 billion will be taken from consumer bills in the form of carbon taxes. This revenue should be used to tackle fuel poverty.

Customers are also being urged to shop around as much as possible, as picking the right tariff could mean you save as much as £300 (the difference between the highest and lowest tariffs).

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