Energy suppliers ‘laughing all the way to the bank’

30-07-2007

Energy suppliers ‘laughing all the way to the bank’
Energy suppliers are failing to pass on cheaper prices to customers, industry watchdog Energywatch has said.

The claim comes just days before British Gas (BG) is due to announce a £600 million return to profitability.

Centrica, the parent of BG, unveils interim results on Thursday. These are expected to show that BG made a profit of £500 million in the six months to the end of June, up from a £143 million loss recorded in the same period a year ago.

Suppliers are charged with operating an 'anti-competitive' market which is closed to new entrants.

Allan Asher, Energywatch's chief executive, said average household gas and electricity bills are 15 per cent more expensive than they should be.

He told the Times the price war had yet to materialise.

"There is no rivalry between the suppliers. They control the generation and they each have a comfortable number of customers," he said.

"If this was a genuinely competitive market, prices would have come down by more," he said.


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