SSE boss insists 'we are not profiteers'

SSE's Managing Director, who is due to face MPs later today, explains why customers are experiencing a 8.3 percent increase in their bills.

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SSE chief: Price rise 'helpful' to start 'green debate'

The chief executive of SSE, who yesterday announced price rises of up to 10%, said the rise would be "helpful" if it focused the nation on the spending priorities and opened a debate on the "green agenda" he claims is driving up prices for consumers.

Alistair Phillips-Davies has called for a debate on the "green agenda" he claims will lead to more price hikes. Credit: Press Association

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he said:

"A price rise is never a good thing to do, but if it focuses everyone on to a debate about what we as a nation should be spending money on, then in one way it will be helpful.

"We need to think about what people really want to pay for; maybe it's time to retreat from decarbonisation and focus more on the cost of living. I think we have to have a debate about it.

"Do we want to be replacing one bit of (energy) generation that we can keep going for a bit longer with a new bit of generation that's going to cost more?"

"I doubt the public like price increases of this magnitude, but if we carry on firmly behind the green agenda we will continue to have price increases like this."

Read: Energy suppliers refuse to rule out price hikes

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No 10: Price hike shows bills freeze wouldn't work

by - Political Correspondent

Sources close to Number 10 pointed out that this energy price hike demonstrates that a temporary freeze by a government wouldn't achieve anything at all.

The energy companies would simply increase prices ahead of an increase as SSE has done today and they would also raise prices after the temporary freeze, they claim.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said effectively that it was "a con".

When I put this to Ed Miliband, he rejected those arguments saying that market intervention could work.

When I suggested the logic of his argument was nationalisation, he said "not at all".

Read: How to save on bills through energy-saving improvements

SSE's profit margin already bigger than Tesco's

by - Consumer Editor

As SSE tell us how deeply they regret the price rise - let's note that they make 5% profit, which is higher than retail giant Tesco.

Also let's reflect on the fact that bills are going up more than 8% while wholesale prices are only up around 4%.

SSE's new average dual fuel bill will now be £1,465 - it's the level where we know people become so squeezed that they turn heating down....or off.

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Energy Sec: SSE price rise 'clearly unwelcome news'

This is clearly unwelcome news for customers of SSE. People should take the opportunity now to make sure they are on the best deal available to them.

Half of an average energy bill is made up of the wholesale cost of energy.

This far outweighs the proportion of a bill that goes to help vulnerable households with their bills and to cut energy waste, and to encourage investment in the new low-carbon energy generation we need to keep the lights on.

SSE’s own figures show that wholesale price rises have contributed more than policy costs to this price increase, as a share of the bill.

– Ed Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary

Fallon: SSE price rise 'disappointing'

The 8.2% rise in SSE bills is "disappointing" but "for the company to justify", an energy minister has said.

Conservative Michael Fallon hoped "customers would look very carefully" at tariffs and think of switching if bills became unmanageable.

However, he hinted there would be no Government intervention and instead wanted to create more competition under the 2013 Energy Bill, which is already making its way through Parliament.

SSE price increase is three times rate of inflation

SSE, which has around 10 million customer accounts, blamed the increased cost of buying and delivering wholesale energy as well as Government levies collected through bills.

It said the latest increase, which is three times the rate of inflation, would come into effect from November 15.

The company, which trades as Southern Electric, Swalec and Scottish Hydro, said the hike equated to an average £2 a week for a typical dual fuel customer.

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