Energy supply industry is ‘recession-proof’

The energy industry is virtually ‘recession-proof’ with suppliers still making ‘healthy profits’ says a consumer group. Consumer Focus claims today’s annual results from ScottishPower and British Gas show energy firms […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The energy industry is virtually ‘recession-proof’ with suppliers still making ‘healthy profits’ says a consumer group.

Consumer Focus claims today’s annual results from ScottishPower and British Gas show energy firms are on steadier ground than they claim.

Both firms posted a drop in earning although they still made several hundred million pounds of profit.

Adam Scorer, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Consumer Focus said: “What both firms’ results show is that the energy industry is close to recession-proof. Healthy profits are still being made despite a big dip in consumption over our mild winter this year.

“The results of British Gas, ScottishPower and EDF and predictions for SSE, all show fairly steady profits can be made in the energy business in all circumstances. It is a very different experience from that of their customers who have seen bills soaring when wholesale prices have risen and only small cuts when costs have fallen.”

However energy firms defended their actions in “tough” economic climes.

A spokesperson for Iberdrola which owns ScottishPower said: “It’s easy to make the profiteering argument but you have to look at the other side. Margins are tighter than they’ve ever been.” He pointed to the billion pounds of investment in new infrastructure the Government expects from suppliers over the next decade.