Energy Secretary Ed Davey defended the Government’s mandatory schemes for power suppliers, suggesting there should be no need for any price rises due to them.
Power provider npower yesterday joined the wave of gas and electricity price hikes after SSE and British Gas, all of which blamed Government schemes such as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) as one of the reasons for the increase.
Mr Davey said the Government is publishing figures on the costs energy companies “really face” in delivering the ECO so consumers can see what it is costing energy companies.
He added: “These figures – supplied by the energy companies themselves – show that the costs are in line with previous schemes so there should be no need for any increase to consumer bills due to ECO.”
The Energy Secretary said npower’s price rise, which will add £137 to the average annual dual fuel bill, is “another disappointing announcement from a big energy company”.
He went on: “Some of the Big Six seem not to have noticed that they are no longer alone in the market – there are now 15 small suppliers and some really competitive fixed deals out there.”
Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary added the price rises “show clearer than ever” why Labour’s price freeze is needed.
She said: “People are sick and tired of being left out of pocket because of David Cameron’s failure to stand up to the energy companies.
“Britain’s energy market isn’t working for ordinary families and businesses. Labour’s energy freeze will save money for 27 million households and 2.4 million businesses and our plans to reset the market will deliver fairer prices in the future.”