Big energy firms line pockets while we are all shivering

Big energy firms don't make hay when the sun shines. Instead they line their pockets while we are all shivering.

SSE said the rise in profits was as a result of the weather being colder Credit: Press Association

SSE (you may also know it as Scottish and Southern Energy also trading as Southern Electric) has today reported a big increase in the profits it made from supplying around 10 million UK homes.

You may recall that SSE put prices up just before the winter set in with rises averaging 9% in October. Critics saw that as good timing for the business. SSE said it was unavoidable.

Despite a big profits rise - the 14 successive earnings increase - SSE is sending out a warning that it is "highly likely" bills will go up.

Profits for supplying homes rose to £419.1 million, a rise of more than 27%.

It was mainly caused by bad weather meaning we used 21% more gas last year. But more pain is ahead and SSE's new bills warning suggests a future rise of £80 per dual fuel customer. SSE does say it will:

Resist this trend as long as possible.

Outgoing Chief Executive Ian Marchant has waived his annual bonus of £329,000 Credit: Press Association

This is significant for you even if you are a customer of other energy firms because SSE says the reasons behind the rise include extra costs imposed by government initiatives, which all energy companies will have.

SSE turned down my bid to get them on our cameras. Instead they have issued a video statement. That means we can't ask them any tough questions, can't challenge what they say. So, with that cautionary note here is what their boss is saying.

What really annoys some customers is that this company was fined recently for mis-selling its energy deals. Around 23,000 customers could have been badly affected. Yet, as we see from today's profits, SSE have still come out smelling of roses.