The boss of the company which owns the energy firm Swalec has defended his firm's profits saying that without them it wouldn't be able to employ so many people. William Morris was amongst the energy chiefs quizzed by MPs about price rises today.
Bosses from the UK's six largest energy providers will be grilled by MPs today about recent price hikes.
Four of the companies have announced rises to average dual fuel energy bills:
- SSE - up by 8.2 percent for 10 million customer
- British Gas - up by 9.2 percent for 7.8 million customers
- RWE npower - up by 10.4 percent for 3.1 million customers
- ScottishPower - up by 7 percent for 2.2 million customers
Bosses from the "Big Six" energy companies are due to give evidence later today to the Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee where they are expected to be grilled by MPs.
Their appearance follows a statement by the Prime Minister's official spokesman who said it was up to the energy companies to justify their charges to consumers amid the latest round of price rises.
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.Read the full story ›
Liberal Democrat MP Roger Williams has asked the Prime Minister to consider setting up a not-for-profit energy company based on the model of Glas Cymru which owns Welsh Water. He now says he'll also raise it with Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood made a similar call for the creation of a not-for-profit energy company in her recent conference speech.
A guide to some of the options open to you as a consumer if you believe you have been mis-sold to by SSE or any other energy company.Read the full story ›
Consumer Focus has welcomed Ofgem's decision to fine SSE for the "systemic failure" in its direct selling operations.
This is not a case of one bad apple or one rogue sales team. The problems at SSE affected the whole direct selling operation and represent a fundamental failure at one of our biggest energy companies.
Other companies have also broken direct selling.
This has been a stain on the energy market since the introduction of competition. While the situation has got better and many companies have decided to end doorstep sales, the recent history casts a long shadow and Ofgem are right to take this scale if action.
In response to Ofgem's £10.5m fine for mis-selling, energy firm SSE's corporate affairs director Alan Young said the firm was "very sorry" about the breaches of the rules.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme
What we were doing was not adequately telling people about the terms and conditions of their contract or adequately making sure they had the information they needed to switch.
We have set up an independent compliance unit to make sure, to monitor, to audit, to randomly check energy sales across all channels now so customers can have the assurance when they are dealing with us there are safeguards in place and proper structures.
We have totally reformed our business in this area, we have restructured it.
Mr Young also defended the management team still being in place, insisting SSE was one of the "best companies in Britain".
According to Ofgem, some of the misleading claims made on the doorstep, over the phone or in-store to customers by energy firm SSE were as follows:
- Telling some customers that they would save money when in fact they were switched on to a more expensive contract
- Saying that by switching to SSE they would be getting the full reductions they’re entitled to, “just like the government intended”.
- Saying that other suppliers were putting their prices or that price increases were higher than they actually were.
- Suggesting they could put them on a “preferred customer tariff… with no standing charge”, omitting that they would be charged higher first tier unit rates instead of a standing charge.