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Ed Davey: Big Six firms realising they must take action

The Energy Secretary welcomed today's announcement from SSE that it is freezing energy bills until January 2016. He said it should encourage other energy firms to follow suit.

This shows that the Big 6 are starting to realise they need to take big action if they want to keep their customers, who have been switching supplier in record numbers.

SSE have shown today that the big energy firms are able to cut their costs and profits, and be confident about their ability to weather potential uncertainty in the wholesale markets, to give billpayers long-term price security.

Customers of the others will be asking whether their suppliers will do the same. The Government encourages people to shop around for the best deal.

– Ed Davey, Energy Secretary

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SSE halts investment in three wind farms

Energy firm SSE has announced it will be stopping its investment in the construction of three planned offshore wind farm developments.

SSE has announced it is stopping its investment in three proposed wind farms as part of cost-cutting measures. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The move is part of a "streamlining" effort following the decision to freeze energy prices until January 2016, which the company said would hits its profits.

Explaining its decision, the company said there needed to be a "sustainable and lower cost supply chain" if the offshore sector is to prosper in the future.

SSE says price freeze 'will make a real difference'

In a statement on its website, energy firm SSE said its decision to freeze energy prices until January 2016 would "make a real difference" to households.

The company's Group Managing Director for Retail, Will Morris, indicated that SSE wants to go further with lowering prices and called on the Government to help.

We don’t want to stop at today’s price freeze. We’d prefer to reduce bills again and to hold them as low as possible for as long as possible. And that is why we are calling for the cost of government schemes – to support good things like energy efficiency and low-carbon electricity – to come off energy bills altogether and be paid for through general taxation.

– Will Morris, SSE's Group Managing Director, Retail

Which? welcomes SSE energy price freeze pledge

ITV's Business Editor Joel Hills has tweeted about the reaction to SSE's pledge on energy prices.

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SSE retail business announces £115m loss

SSE's retail business announced a loss. Credit: PA

Energy giant SSE insisted it was battling "difficult" energy market conditions as it revealed a £115.4 million loss in its retail supply business just weeks after announcing a hike in household bills.

The group, which has more than nine million customers and is the UK's second largest generator of electricity, blamed the performance on rising costs of wholesale energy, environmental and social policies and distribution.

Its overall underlying group profits fell 11.7% to £354 million in the six months to September 30.

The first half loss in its retail supply arm compares with a £48.3 million operating profit a year earlier.

SSE was the first of the major suppliers to announce a tariff rise, saying last month that it would lift prices by an average of 8.2% from Friday.

'Continuing argument' in Coalition over green policies

There is a "continuing argument" raging in the Coalition Government over the merits of investing in a low-carbon economy, according to Business Secretary Vince Cable.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It is a continuing argument in the coalition, because Liberal Democrats have been arguing that we need to maintain a long-term priority towards a less carbon-based and polluting economy, and we have to make the decisions associated with that."

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