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Consumers struggle under austerity while Energy generators increase prices and profits

11 June, 2013 - by Phil Flanagan

Sinn Féin Energy spokesperson, Phil Flanagan has called for the Utilities Regulator to take a tougher stand against increased energy prices.

Phil Flanagan MLA said:

“While this latest price increase by Budget Energy will be a bitter blow to their consumers and reflects the increases by the other providers it is still wise to shop around and checkout the most advantageous payment method in order that you are still getting the best value for money.

“Many experts claim that the reason behind our rising electricity prices is as a result of rising global gas prices and the levels of incentives for renewables.

“Renewable electricity generators are paid the same price through the Single Electricity Market (SEM), as generators using fossil fuels removing competitiveness.

“While some electricity generators show profit margins of up to 80% they are now attempting to justify increasing their prices by 17.8% and claiming their generation costs have increased.

“The fact is their generation costs have not increased but the price they receive from the SEM has.

“It is high time that those involved in the SEM Committee, the Utility Regulator in the north and the Commission for Energy Regulation in the south acted to reverse this situation to ensure that increased prices from SEM are passed on to consumers instead of bolstering shareholders dividends.

 “Renewables should become a force for downward pressure on other generators to provide better value for money to consumers. Generators should not continue to be able to post increasingly massive profits while consumers struggle and many have to decide whether to eat or heat.

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