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Hope for consumers as ‘Big Six’ to meet with PM

Hope for consumers as ‘Big Six’ to meet with PM

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 17/10/2011
First Published: 17/10/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Gas and electricity customers will be hoping for good news about their bills after the UK's six largest energy firms were invited to meet the Prime Minister.

Today's meeting also included consumer groups and the energy regulator Ofgem.

David Cameron said he was keen to work 'harder and faster' to cut energy bills, and wanted to work with energy firms to implement a 'trusted, simple and transparent' market.

The current market was labelled as 'rigged' by the Labour leader Ed Miliband last month.

All of the Big Six – British Gas, Npower, Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE), E.on, EDF and Scottish Power – have recently increased their dual fuel bills.

They currently supply 99% of UK dual fuel customers.

Recent figures from Ofgem predicted that firms will see profits per customer per year rise from £15 in June to £125 in October.

The figures were challenged by energy firms, but Ofgem's chief executive, Alistair Buchannan, said that the current energy market is not competitive enough.

New proposals would see all providers charging a fixed fee set by the regulator, with another charge for each unit used by customers, making finding a cheaper deal far simpler.

Research last week by energyhelpline.com revealed that the latest price rises mean that the cheapest dual fuel bill has risen above £1,000 a year for the first time ever.

Both Npower and British Gas have told customers they will not increase prices again this year, while SSE have said their prices will be frozen until at least August next year.

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