Energy firms accused of profiteering by probe

Energy firms have been accused of making six times the profit they admit to publicly – according to an investigation by the Sun newspaper.

The allegations are based on a report by accountancy firm PWC commissioned by Energy UK.

The newspaper claims costs to suppliers – such as buying gas, running call centres and power lines- amount to £844 per year to provide fuel to one household in 2016. But the majority of families with the Big Six are on so-called standard variable tariffs – and are paying as much as £1,172 with some suppliers. This leaves a profit of £272 – a margin of 24% if VAT is removed, the paper worked out.

Energy UK said it “rejects completely any implication that the report was changed to alter the perception of supplier profit”.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said he would be calling Energy UK to a meeting to discuss the findings.“This report appears to confirm my concern that the big energy firms are punishing their customers’ loyalty rather than respecting it,” he said. “Customers who are loyal to their energy supplier should be treated well, not taken for a ride, and it’s high time the big companies recognised this. I have made clear to the big firms that this can’t go on and they must treat customers properly or be made to do so.”