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Peter Black calls for end to the traditional winter energy price hikes

2012 Awst 24 9:37 AM

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West Peter Black has called on the Office of Fair Trading to conclude their two year long review into the domestic energy market and put a stop to the annual circus of rising gas and electricity prices each winter, when demand is highest.

Mr. Black was reactingy to the news that SSE, the parent company of SWALEC, has decided to put up its energy prices by 9% for the winter. Industry analysts have said that they expect all the other energy companies to follow suit by the start of next year.

Mr. Black said: "Here we go again. As autumn and winter approach, the big energy companies are about to begin their seasonal round of ramping up prices to consumers. At a time when individuals and families throughout our region are hard-pressed to make ends meet, SWALEC are going to add another £100 a year on average out of us all. No doubt the rest of the big six energy companies will be quick to follow suit.

"The usual excuse from the energy companies is that the price they pay for energy on the wholesale market has risen and they are simply passing it on to us. However, as they will never reveal when they contracted to buy their energy this claim can never be independently checked.

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"The Office of Fair Trading has been looking into the domestic energy market for two years now. It's high time they came to a conclusion. "The suspicion is growing that the energy companies are quick to put prices up when their costs rise, and slow to put them down when their costs fall; and that they all move their prices together in a cosy convoy without any real competition.

"The once a year price hike in time for winter has to be stopped. If the OFT won't act, then the UK Government must."