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Wholesale prices tumble our gas bills “!! Don’t !!”

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  • Wholesale prices tumble our gas bills “!! Don’t !!”

    Wholesale prices tumble our gas bills “!! Don’t !!”

    Consumers face even higher power bills in the coming months even though the wholesale price of gas plummeted months ago.
    Since last March, power companies have seen the amount they must pay for their gas fall by over 36 per cent.

    At the same time, however, customers’ bills have risen by more than a quarter. And another increase is to come in the New Year. The official consumer body Energywatch is calling for a full-blown Competition Commission inquiry amid suspicions that the UK’s big six power firms are on the take.

    Millions of Britons have seen their gas and electricity bills surge this year.
    The increases have put lives at risk during the cold months ahead, according to charities, with poorer households forced to make the choice between heating and eating.

    The big six power companies – British Gas, Powergen, SSE, Npower, Scottish Power and EDF – have blamed higher wholesale prices for the increases in consumer bills this year.
    However, these prices have been falling back sharply over the past months, largely because new imported supplies of gas have become available via new pipelines from Norway and the Netherlands, so this excuse is now running a bit thin.

    Cheaper gas should also mean a lower price for electricity because it is used to fuel 40 per cent of power stations.
    Research by experts at the website The Energy Shop - for cheap gas prices and cheap electricity prices UK
    Show the average wholesale price of gas hit a high of 2.55p per kilowatt hour in March this year.

    Since then it has fallen by 36 per cent to 1.62p. By contrast, the retail price paid by consumers has risen by almost 26 per cent to 2.956p per kilowatt hour over the same period.

    The energy giants claim that they buy their gas and electricity some six to nine months in advance.
    Industry bodies have stated that it could be next summer or possibly even autumn before consumers see lower bills.

    But since prices have been falling since March, this suggests household power bills should have Dropped by now.

    An Energywatch statement confirms the energy companies are creaming off extra profits for as long as they are allowed to get away with it.
    Its chief executive, Allan Asher, said: "If prices fail to come down it will only add to the suspicion that consumers are being blatantly ripped off.
    "We believe there should be a Competition Commission inquiry into whether there is a cartel at work. Consumers have had enough of the relentless profiteering from energy companies. They deserve to know that everything is being done to sort the problem out.
    "Sitting on our hands waiting for prices to fall is not an acceptable response."
    A new industry, made up of internet-based companies which take commission by switching consumers to the cheapest deals, has emerged over the last three years.

    Karen Darby, chief executive of Save Money On Gas & Electricity Bills, Broadband, Phone, Mobile Phones, Credit Card, Mortgage Payments And Car Insurance , said: "Customers are unlikely to understand why, when wholesale prices are falling prices to consumers don’t fall too.
    "Delays in passing on a reduction in wholesale prices to consumers would be seen as grossly unfair."
    Joe Malinowksi, of, said: "The industry does have a case that they are selling gas now that was bought when the wholesale price was higher earlier in the year.
    "However, prices have been dropping like a stone in recent months and consumers should now be seeing the benefit of that."
    The energy regulator Ofgem approved extra spending of more than £5billion in the next five years on gas pipelines and the electricity grid.
    This is predicted to add around £10 to gas bills next year and £2-£4 to those for electricity.
    The increases reflect the need to build pipelines to carry imported gas to where it is needed and build links to new windfarms.
    Citizens Advice spokesman Tony Herbert said: "This is yet another cost that will hit people on low incomes the hardest. We are now seeing evidence of people struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills, but we expect that this will grow massively over the winter months.
    The Energy Retailers spokesman said: "Wholesale prices have come down recently, prompted by the very mild start to the winter and increased supply from Europe.
    "However, over the last three years the price paid for gas rose by 100 per cent while the price paid by consumers has risen 170 per cent.

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