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Utility profits grow at expense of households

Utility profits grow at expense of households

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 12/04/2013
First Published: 10/04/2013

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Energy suppliers have been criticised for increasing profits by 111%, as households battle to make ends meet in the face of rising gas and electricity bills.

According to the energy watchdog Ofgem's latest Electricity and Gas Supply Market Indicator report, net margins made by energy providers over the past year per customer grew by £50, whilst the average annual dual fuel price increased by £110 over the same period to £1,353.

Over the last three years, net margins rose by 73%, with providers reaping profits of £2.5 billion from households. It is estimated that profits could grow even further over the forthcoming year to around £100 per home.

The report follows separate research earlier this week which revealed a stark rise in the number of people falling behind with their energy bills. Over five million UK households currently owe their utility provider £637 million, £159 million (6%) more compared with this time last year.

Over 20% of consumers admitted to ignoring their gas and electricity bills in the desperate hope that prices would reduce in due course.

Mark Todd, director of energyhelpline.com, said: "Quite clearly it is the best time to be an energy supplier and the very worst time to be a bill payer.

"The markets are demanding that every year suppliers make more money and they are certainly delivering. At the same time, customers are really struggling with a toxic cocktail of debt, rocketing bills and Siberian weather."

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