Government may intervene in sky-high energy increases
It's fair to say many consumers feel that energy companies are taking the complete piss right now. Yesterday's announcement from ScottishPower added fuel to the fire - their energy prices are increasing by an average of 19% for gas and 10% for electricity, despite core profits of £1.2 billion last year.
The good news is the Government has an opportunity to prove whether it has any teeth concerning the matter. Tim Yeo, the head of the Commons energy and climate change select committee has suggested that energy companies could be forced to justify massive price rises. "There is a very strong public suspicion, probably justified, that prices tend to go up faster than they come down," said Yeo.
The minister has suggested that the government could enable energy watchdog Ofgem to demand proof that any prices rises are justified and in line with wholesale prices. Suggestions are all well and good, of course - whether anything will come of it is another matter.