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Energy companies should use profits to cut fuel bills

The massive rise in profits for the energy firms should lead to a reduction in customer bills, says Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

OFGEM has reported today that the profit margin for energy firms has risen to £125 per customer per year, from £15 in June.

CAS Head of Policy Susan McPhee says,

“At a time when Scottish families are struggling to pay their fuel bills, power companies should be doing everything they possibly can to keep prices down. With profits like these, It’s difficult to see how they can argue that they are unable to do so.

“These profits have to be seen in the context of how high fuel bills are, and how this is affecting people. CAB advisers see this every day. At the start of this year, one third of Scottish households were already in fuel poverty, and the recent hikes in bills are making things even worse.

“It’s 2011 and yet some of the most vulnerable people in our society can’t afford to heat their homes. As we head into another Scottish winter, one third of Scots – including pensioners, sick and disabled people, and families with young children - will be shivering in their homes because they can’t afford to switch the heating on. This is the reality.

“Against that background, it is unjustifiable for energy companies who enjoy profits like these to impose such high bills on hard-pressed customers. We fully support OFGEM in their efforts to redress this balance, and we will be pressing that case hard at the Fuel Bills Summit meetings next week.”

For interviews etc., please contact Tony Hutson on 0131 550 1010. NB This is the number of the CAS Press Office, for use by journalists only. If you are a member of the public looking for CAB advice please contact your local bureau.