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The Times: John and other MPs turn up heat as energy firms raise prices

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More than 50 MPs have demanded “immediate action” to stop households being ripped off by energy companies after Eon raised its prices.

The cross-party group of politicians condemned the treatment of those on expensive standard variable tariffs, about two thirds of households, and said that telling people to shop around would “not fix the problem”.

Yesterday Eon said that it was raising its standard tariff by an average of 8.8 per cent from April 26, adding £97 to a typical annual dual-fuel bill.

Electricity prices will rise by 13.8 per cent and gas prices by 3.8 per cent, it said, blaming government “social and environmental schemes” such as renewable energy subsidies.

The rise follows dual-fuel increases of 7.8 per cent by Scottish Power and 9.8 per cent by Npower, announced last month, and a 1.2 per cent increase by EDF Energy announced in December.

With increases by two of the largest small suppliers, more than seven million households will pay an average of £76 each more a year, according to uSwitch, the price comparison site.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said that it was “prepared to act” where markets were not working. Last night John Penrose, a Conservative, and Caroline Flint, of Labour, were granted provisional permission for a full-day House of Commons debate next week on a motion deploring the big companies’ treatment of customers on default standard tariffs and calling for “immediate action . . . to protect these consumers”.

Ofgem urged customers to “take advantage of cheaper deals available and to shop around”. The regulator has said previously that it could see no “obvious reason” for price increases at the moment and that blaming government policies was not “particularly valid”.

 

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