Miliband slams ministers’ close relationship with energy companies

In an interview with the Independent, Labour leader Ed Milliband spoke out about the close ties between ministers and the big six

Research shows ministers have met with energy firms five times more than consumer groups, since 2010

Milliband has called for dealings between ministers and energy lobbyists to be more regulated and transparent.

The move follows research carried out by the Independent, which reveals that ministers from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have met with representatives of the big six 128 times since the 2010 election.

A closer inspection reveals DECC has met with Centrica, British Gas’ parent company, 30 times; ScottishPower 26 times; EDF 21 times; SSE 19 times; npower 17 times and E.ON 15 times.

In contrast, in the same period of time, DECC has met with representatives of energy consumers 26 times.

‘Energy market that isn’t working for ordinary families’

Miliband told the newspaper: “We have an energy market that isn’t working for ordinary families and businesses. Yet rather than act, this Tory-led Government is letting energy firms overcharge millions of families who are struggling to pay their ever-rising energy bills.

“With a cost of living crisis gripping Britain, hardworking people need a government that fights for them. Instead we have a Prime Minister who always stands up for a privileged few.”

Universal register for lobbyists

In this context, Labour is to table amendments to the Lobbying Bill which would oblige all lobbyists to join a register. The current iteration of the Bill excludes in-house lobbyists, working for energy companies.

Speaking on the proposed changes, Miliband said: “The Government’s Lobbying Bill will not capture the big energy lobbyists, who will continue to escape scrutiny. We will bring in a universal register of all professional lobbyists, along with a code of conduct backed by sanctions.”

DECC: Relationships are ‘entirely above board’

In response to the criticisms, DECC has responded that details of each meeting are published and the organisation woks to avoid conflicts of interest.

A spokesperson for DECC said: “Keeping the lights on and delivering value to consumers is a vital job and it is perfectly normal for Decc ministers and officials regularly to meet with energy suppliers as well as independent players and environmental and consumer groups to discuss energy issues.”

Read more

Labour’s price freeze could ‘jeopardise investment’

Energy price freeze strikes chord with Tories

Join the conversation

  • moonspinners

    Milliband has enjoyed considerable free Political broadcast over the last few weeks yet he was responsible for energy in the last government. So why did that government introduce a Green Levy at a cost of £125 pa charged to every consumer both rich and poor simply to subsidise solar power etc. That means that the poor and elderly pay subsidies to those with solar energy a subsidy. Is that fair Milliband, stop lying to us about your plan to cap energy prices since if we don’t pay president Putin in Russia he will cut of our supplies, you know that and no company will sell energy at a loss so we will be in the dark.

    • JCthatsme

      The more reason to push for renewable energy supplies, today its possible to build wind turbines, tidal power, AD, solar that would cost less than a nuclear power station and have the same output of power. Who is trying to stop sustainable energy than the carbon lobbyists. Germany have a successful renewables system in place and they don’t have the same island natural resources we have. We have been taken for a ride by the energy companies for too long

      • realisticgreen

        JC
        More outdated ‘green’ claims.
        You’ve been rumbled.
        You are also adrift on facts.
        We COULD carpet the country with windmills but would still suffer huge black-outs when a winter anticyclone settles over us. (**it happens).
        If you believe the wicked propaganda that “energy is produced 80% of the time” then you haven’t asked the most basic of questions – “How much ?”

        Germany does NOT have a successful renewables system.
        That is why German economists described it as – quote – “massively expensive … and devoid of economic and environmental benefit”.
        That is why Germany is building lignite-fuelled power stations and has come extremely close to huge problems with their Grid system and has dumped surplus energy over their border when things went pear shaped.
        I’m not trying to stop “sustainable energy” – just completely unconvinced that windmills are any form of answer.
        Also, the ordinary German citizen is beginning to react to forested country areas being destroyed in order to build ‘green’ windmills.

      • QuintEssenstialy

        Germany, you are talking out of your Ärsche.

        German coal-fired power rises above 50% in first-half 2013 generation mix

        London (Platts)–10Jul2013/755 am EDT/1155 GMT

        Coal-fired power plants contributed 52% of Germany’s first-half electricity demand as output from natural gas-fired power plants and wind turbines fell, research organization Fraunhofer Institute (ISE) said.

        Coal plants increased production by about 5% to 130.3 TWh in the first six months of 2013 as output from gas-fired power plants fell 17% to 21.9 TWh, said ISE, which collated data from Germany’s statistical office and the EEX transparency platform.

        Wind turbine output fell 10% to 22.4 TWh, while solar output was unchanged at 14.3 TWh. Hydro output rose 3% to 9.2 TWh, with nuclear output up 1.8% to 46 TWh.

        • Rob Mann

          should have kept our pits open and fitted latest emmission technology to to power station chimneys -we would be self sufficient like we used to be

          • QuintEssenstialy

            Not to mention the benefits of district heating.

          • ChrisCard

            Being self sufficient is not the plan though!

          • Donald Merritt

            Have you lost your memory. The unions and Scargle went on strike every year before Christmas.
            When gas was made from coal ditto.

          • here we go again

            that was because Thatcher wanted to close the livelihoods & communities of millions of non London people. This lot & the right wing press have rotted your minds as none of you seem to be able think outside what so called facts you are given, such as does the emperor have clothes on or not?

          • Jim

            YEP and who shut them……..YEP THE NASTY PARTY. They also took us into the EU by the way.

      • http://www.figurewizard.com/ figurewizard

        Germany does not have “a successful renewables system.” On the 13th. of October Sigmar Gabriel, the leader of the SDP and an important player in the new coalition government there said: “We need to ensure that renewable energy is affordable. And we need to put an end to the idea that we can pull out of nuclear and coal simultaneously. This won’t work.”

        He then went on to stress the importance that: “costs are kept under control, that supply is secure, and that we are not fighting ideological wars over coal, gas and renewables,”

        At least someone who matters in the EU is at last talking sense.

      • Donald Merritt

        I hope you are young so will eventually see how stupid your comments are. 10-15 years should be enough.

        • http://635csi.co.uk/ Howard Walker

          Well said Donald!

    • Bob Hill

      Frack Off

    • staywarm

      This is nonsense,energy companies offer to freeze prices till 2017 if you change and sign up now for dual fuel. They are themselves saying fuel prices can be frozen. If this PM can’t do it, lets have one that can and will, Milliband

  • Nige

    As commented by others , Mr Miliband has played a huge part in how we got to this Tate of play when in his previous role. Typical political stance, when uncomfortable with the truth make a notice about others

  • michael foot

    why do you give this egit page space by 2025 we will be paying £300 per house in green taxes

  • http://www.greendealprotection.co.uk/greendealconsumerprotection.html Tom Fletcher

    It is usually not what is said that is the real issue but what is not said or made public! Lobbying is key to every government maintaining just a status quo on many issues however Energy, the costs that is, is a sore point for every home and business in the UK. Mr Milliband has yet to come up with a credible medium or long term policy solution to continually rising Energy costs. Wait and see what happens is always the way things go and this is no different unless we get a whistle blower in the know!

    • Pierre

      You say Milliband “has yet to come up with a credible medium or long term policy solution to continually rising Energy costs.” Maybe that’s true .. but the Tories and Libs are in power … and haven’t got one

  • Screw_Globalism

    Typical LibLabCON hypocrite , all one & the same !!

  • Littlegrayman

    Mrs Miliband is a leading environmental Lawyer. What if any are her connections to Windmills?

    • QuintEssenstialy

      She’s married to one!

      Sorry, I thought you said Windbag.

      • Bob Hill

        aren’t you the site expert on these matters?

        • QuintEssenstialy

          If you like. At least I don’t recommend myself!

          • Bob Hill

            who would

          • QuintEssenstialy

            Maybe the one who recommended you, if they don’t charge too much.

  • microrossi

    We could have power stations half built by now instead of half begging to think about it if the JAPANESE come in on it .Who thought that sad idea up .Tories, get your rich dumb asses off your fox hunting nags and get building .

  • Bob Hill

    like all the utilities…this government of liars and tax dodgers are up to their necks, when it comes to profiteering and we all know who it was that sold all the utilities to johnny foreigner for peanuts..enabling this mass greed by them now …thatcher spin in hell

    • realisticgreen

      Tax dodgers. So very true Bob.
      The truly brilliant Margaret Hodge has tackled the big companies that are avoiding tax but she seems to be prevented/shackled by a cosy Parliamentary convention that you do not tackle fellow parliamentarians.
      Tax avoidance via sham loss-making companies is just one tactic used by her fellow MPs.

      • andrew blake

        You need to check your background. Hodge is a millionaire whose own family business uses tax avoidance schemes so like every good socialist she is a hypocrite. Similarly with the Guardian who also avoid tax yet complain about others doing so.

        • realisticgreen

          Not really. My comments stand (as I have spent some time researching undeclared ‘interests’ via Companies House website).
          Frankly couldn’t care tuppence about Ms Hodge’s personal finances. She is an utterly brilliant and fearless inquisitor and in that respect she is priceless. If we could clone her we might have a Parliament worthy of the name. Rather than one inhabited by fraudsters, liars, adulterers etc. ?
          True though that ‘socialists’ like multi-millionaire Blair and champagne socialists (is it Polly Toynbee that has a villa in Tuscany or somesuch?) tend to have two very different sides to their ‘character’.

      • Scam Scam

        The disgusting Truly Awful Margaret Hodge and the corrupt Islington Council that was at the centre of paedophilia that she inacted on on numerous occasions. I would suggest reading Savile threads and check out her family links she is truly up to her neck in it thus she has progressed up the corrupt system….unfortunately

        • Scam Scam

          Margaret Oppenheimer Hodge (awful woman) was forced to
          resign as Leader of Islington council after…the revelations in the
          Evening Standard newspaper which exposed that either through deliberate
          act or total incompetence she allowed 33 of Britains most wanted
          paedophiles to escape unharmed and a huge scandal followed where it was
          revealed she was made aware more than once, many times of systemic
          ritual child abuse being committed in council homes.

    • JCthatsme

      We still should work towards sustainable power with the renewable energy, business lobbyists are trying to scupper the green tax by constantly hiking there prices. Changing the form of energy now and gaining independence of foreign fossil fuel suppliers will not only give stable energy prices but also bring the UK in line with the Kyoto Protocol, reducing harmful emissions for a cleaner environment, even Thatcher would want energy independance

      • realisticgreen

        JC
        I am all for renewable energy but windmills are never going to be the answer and are diverting ‘investment’ (i.e. the massive subsidies that we are saddled with) from other areas such as geo-thermal, tidal, more hydro etc.
        Ask any time-served energy industry expert what is the worst thing to connect to a Grid – answer – intermittent and wildly variable windmill energy.
        “Reducing harmful emissions …, stable energy prices …, etc.”.
        I’m personally fed up with reading that very tired old mantra that is straight from the groon script.
        WIND DOESN’T WORK AND NEVER WILL.

        All we are doing is making UK firms less likely to survive thanks to ‘green taxes’ and thereby EXPORTING our emissions to overseas countries that couldn’t care a monkeys about emissions. And putting more of our elderly (that includes me) into fuel poverty.
        Crazy outcome.

        • dAbOMB

          its all part of, a bit of wind a bit of solar a bit of clean coal a bit of nuke..a bit of everything, as for u you have had your life as YOU ARE A pensioner, your not important now
          the next generation and what they inherit is…YOU TUBE

          • realisticgreen

            Hilarious.
            I can only suggest politely that if your manners and use of English are typical of “the next generation” – then we are in big trouble. Have you got any tattoos yet ?

          • Oldman

            Only for that pensioner dirtbomb you would not be talking out of your ar#s now would you

  • rogrfs

    as long as shareholders are a priority for services this will be an issue wether 6 or 60 companies at same time investment in renewables is crucial . to those in love with nuclear fine but you have the waste we still have no effective way of dealing with in the long term and just how much should we make available for terrorists dirty bombs .i’m neither tory or labour leaning just concerned that playing politics will leave the most vulnerable left to suffer yet again . maybe as with tax you should pay for energy according to your income so those with the most pay the most . that way the elderly and disabled and those genuinely out of work are protected . at same time genuine investment in renewables and safe disposal of nuclear waste could crate jobs . bugger i forgot we have politicians

  • cardigan

    He should know that David Cameron’s father in law takes a considerable annual income from wind turbine subsidies.

  • Middle of the Road

    As long as we support one or other party and blame the one we do not support for all of our ills – situation no change.

  • realisticgreen

    Lobbying has a great deal to do with the energy ‘policy’ we are saddled with …

    Vested interests have had a huge influence in pushing ‘green energy’ that is unreliable, intermittent and garners huge subsidies.
    It has been said many times :- wind generators would NEVER have defaced our countryside without the aid of lucrative financial subsidies – (Secured by lobbying teams from the developers and aided by an agenda peddled by the “Anxiety Industry” AKA the Greens.)

    VERY surprised indeed to see DECC claim “details of each meeting are published”. (they must think dates and persons attending will keep the mugs quiet …)

    An FOI request to see the details of meetings with energy developers was turned down on the alleged grounds that there were ‘ … so many it would cost too much to release the info.’ (my paraphrasing)

    It has not been transparent and is costing taxpayers ever-increasing sums in ‘green taxes’.
    There is, however, a glimmer of hope in that the Treasury, George Osborne, Eric Pickles et al. are just beginning to realise what a disastrous and ruinous policy they have been suckered into by Blair/Milliband/Huhne/Davey.

    If they ditch it it soon then they MIGHT get a good result at the next election.

    • JCthatsme

      The government signed up for the Kyoto agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, business lobbyiests who are aggrieved at paying a carbon levy are pressuring for change to save themselves money, the environment is no concern to them. Most people can see with the FIT scheme, (install solar or another renewable) its possible to make money from it but also help the environment why is that not a vote winner?

  • kevo

    Miliband is such a tool. He is almost bankrupting us with his climate change act 2008 – and he only did that to further his own political status – our country would really suffer under him and any other wasteful labour govt-just get lost – when the rest of the world, particularly China and India- start really reducing carbon emissions we can start too but until then we are just waving in the breeze- the only way is nuclear and it is about time to put to bed all the fuss about safety- it is an extremely safe technology – the only reason Labour delayed with it was they did not want to lose popularity-stop wasting peoples’ hard earned money on wind turbines that are next to useless-

    • QuintEssenstialy

      “it is an extremely safe technology”. Until it isn’t!

      Mint sauce with your Welsh Lamb?

    • moonspinners

      I always chuckle when I drive in to those Towns (Generally Labour or Liberal controlled) who state they are a Nuclear free town/city. Does that mean that they turn of power when they have used up the percentage of power generation and leave the Nuclear stuff to the rest of us?

  • QuintEssenstialy

    ‘The move follows research carried out by the Independent, which reveals that ministers from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have met with representatives of the big six 128 times since the 2010 election.

    I am surprised it is only 128 times. That’s less than once a week. Any idea what the corresponding figures were under labour’s regis?

  • Terry sergeant

    WHAT AN IDIOT,MILLIBAND CAUSED THE INCREASES IN ENERY PRICES BY HIS SHORT TERM OUTLOOK,HE TAKES EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO KNOCK THE GOVERNMENT,BT IT WAS HIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE,I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW ANY HARD WORKING PERSON,CAN CONSIDER THIS AGRESSIVE FOOL OR ANY BULLY CONNECTED WITH LABOUR TAKE, BALLS, COOPER ,HARMAN,MILLIBAND AD THAT FOOL WATSON,IF THEY GET ELECTED THIS COUNTRY IS FINISHED,THEIR MOTTO IS DO AS WE SAY NOR AS WE DO,JUST A OOTNOTE,I VOTED FOR BLAIR, WHAT A MISTAKE THAT WAS,

    • paul assassin

      its already finished with the tories at the helm!!!!

  • Vindpust

    A bit rich coming from Miliband. I seem to remember him spending a lot of time with wind develoopers when he was DECC minister.

  • Mike Williams

    Lets deal with the shambles that the previous Labour Government left behind as a first step. Be careful that the energy bills are not reduced to be replaced by more austerity as a labour government overspends coz that is what they are good at.

    The Tories always tidy up after them, not that they are any better than labour. They all need to learn how to look after the people rather than their own pockets.

    • highonhopeguy

      On the whole living standards rose a great deal under Blair / Brown – i think it was the singly most consistent era of economic growth… so out of 13 years the economy grew for most of them, wages rose, schools and hospitals were built, the minimum wage was made law (Tories accept that now) and in short we prospered. The economy was growing when Gordon Brown left office….not such a mess really!

      • Donald Merritt

        So was the £700 Billion debt. (£1 trillion for the country through borrowing NOT EARNING)

    • morgantindale

      Mike, I agree that the last Labour Gov left a complete shambles. The reason for this is simple. In 1979 the people of this country voted overwhelmingly for change, because the Tories weren’t doing their job properly. Instead, we were given the same, useless, tired, totally discredited, Milton Friedman, Chicago School of Neo-liberal economics, where the rich are allowed to become obscenely wealthy, and mass unemployment is good, banks aren’t regulated because they provide economic growth, (for themselves), unemployment and low wages keep the plebs in control. The Tories aren’t tidying up, they are using the banking crisis,(which you and I are paying for, in bailing out the banks, and paying bankers bonuses), to institute a programme of reform(If the banks owe us £billions,how do they balance their books, when paying bonuses). Reform is supposed to mean that things get better. They aren’t! Politicians only care about their wealth and power. They don’t represent us anymore. You only need to consider how many MPs have second or third jobs. I heard recently that the MP who had the problems with the police in Downing Street, (Plebgate) and was sacked from the front benches, has got himself a part time job, worth £60,000 a year for 10 days work! So, who does he work for?

  • JCthatsme

    We still should work towards sustainable power with the renewable energy, business lobbyists are trying to scupper the green tax by constantly hiking there prices. Changing the form of energy now and gaining independence of foreign fossil fuel suppliers will not only give stable energy prices but also bring the UK in line with the Kyoto Protocol, reducing harmful emissions for a cleaner environment.

    • jaytee

      That’s Brit politics-Labour Inept-Tories crooks

  • Harry Redneck

    Ed my dear chap. You seem to have forgotten that the Government charges VAT on energy bills. If you want to reduce the cost of energy to the people you really don’t have to have a big fight with the energy companies. You just have to stop taking your cut every time they send out a bill.

    • perdix

      A minimum of 5% VAT is mandated by EU rules, to abolish it would be unlawful. Better to abolish the EU?
      Concerning this article, a copy-and-paste job by a commercial outfit instead of Bloomberg reporting. Dodgy comments by the socialist Ed Milliband the govt has to meet with the industry to sort out the energy market supply and distribution. If the companies were ignored the govt would be accused of complacency.

    • Moonspinners

      And remember it’s VAT on the Green Tax also which Ed introduced so like Petrol it’s a Tax on Tax.

      • Gem

        Yes but please also remember that this Conservative government have put green taxes up by 60% since they came to power.

        • paul assassin

          and increased the vat to 20%,look what that did to the price of fuel !!

  • ThePoV

    Regardless of what Miliband, or any other leaders have done in the past, he’s right… the cost of living is making families struggle. However, i’d like to see some evidence that energy companies are over-charging. If he wants transparency then the financial records of the energy companies should be made public (if they’re not already). I’m quite sure the net income/profit would be quite substantial, after-all, this is a capitalist society we live in, but some evidence to back up such claims is always inviting and it would be intriguing to see where all that money is going.

    Which i’d assume would bring us all to the “New World Order”… who (it seems) actually pull all the strings. It really wouldn’t surprise me if free and sustainable energy hasn’t already been invented (using perpetual motion), only that it hasn’t been released unto society because of the huge financial loss to the the powers that be. Should this be the case (and i sincerely suspect it is), It’s almost criminal that we continue to destroy our planet in order to line the pockets of the world leaders. Sure there’d be a huge impact on the economy, but this, i’d speculate, would balance out what with not having excessive energy bills and new technologies creating a newly trained workforce in society. Only the “new world order” would lose a few 0′s off of the multi billion dollar income, which i’d go out on a limb and say it’s exactly why it hasn’t happened..

    So this is the way i and many others see it, that no decisions are made unless it is profitable for those who have the power, regardless of the effects these decisions have on society. All of these politics are banded about, squabbling over who did what, why the country’s in the state its in blah blah blah, it all just seems so false and pointless, that it’s just to blind us from the truth, that we are being denied new technologies (and cures) because of the detrimental effect it would have on the profit margins of the powers that be.

    If our “leaders” really want the people to follow them, then they should be providing us with a country that has a decent standard of living. a country that puts the people of the nation first, and a country that houses a democratic society where majority rules. As things stand, the only democracy is who is going to dictate to us next. Legislations are passed with barely any publicity, any care, or any understanding of whether or not its actually what the people of this country want, or if it’s beneficial to them/us. This is a large reason why we are getting hung parliaments, because the people can’t trust anyone to do what’s right by the people and their voting just for damage limitation, spoilt for choice??? Ha no, the choice is spoilt.

    Our government should put greed, power and rivalry aside, and stand together and do what’s best for everybody, and not just the people they serve to make money.

    But then i find it very difficult to believe that that will ever happen, but i live in hope.

    Oh, one last thing… All of this “but they started it” is like something from a primary school playground, seriously, grow up, it doesn’t solve any of the problems, take some responsibility and do what’s right for the people. All of the previous leaderships are all responsible for the state the country, they’ve all made decisions that have made us all worse off, to think any otherwise is just bare ignorance.

    That is all.

    ThePoV

    • morgantindale

      Hi ThePov, This is going to be difficult! Companies like British Gas are what’s known as vertically integrated. This means that BG (exploration) gets the oil and gas from the North Sea and then sells it to BG (storage), who store it, and who in turn sell it to BG (distribution) who then sell it to us. Tax authorities aren’t allowed to investigate these inter-company sales, which involve £billions upon £billions. Somewhere in the middle of these transactions, each of these BG companies borrow money from each other for investment in improvement to infrastructure. This means that these companies owe each other money and they can claim tax relief on the interest payments they pay each other.This means that they can claim tax relief on any profit! This means that these companies can hide their real profits from the tax authorities. However, this in itself is not a real problem, because companies like BG and other energy companies are not registered for tax in this country! Could be Monaco, Liechenstein, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, or any other tax haven, etc. Also, you need to understand that when the Labour Party came to power in 1997, it embraced the previous Tory Government’s, Milton Friedman, Chicago School of Neo-Liberal Economics, where rich people are allowed to become obscenely wealthy, and some of this will trickle down! As if!

  • andrew blake

    Nice spin by Labour. What are the chances that Baroness Morgan of Ely, Labour Whip and now appointed to the Labour front bench is a board director of SSE whose timing on a price rise just happened to occur after Miliband’s speech?

    The only power Miliband and Labour are interested in is their own.

    Read the following and ask yourself who is too cosy with the energy businesses.
    Baroness Morgan of Ely, the Labour whip, Baroness Kingsmill and the former minister Lord MacDonald of Tradeston have occupied senior positions for the last three years at the energy giants SSE, E.ON, and Scottish Power.

    • thedogwalker

      Perhaps you would care to take as much effort and reveal for us all the appointments that individual Tories and LibDems have with the energy companies or does that not serve your purpose.

      • andrew blake

        took no effort at all to find this information. Although you won’t hear it reported in the Guardian or on the BBC of course. I don’t care what appointments they have, just don’t, like the Left be hypocritical about it and, what looks like in this case with SSE, use it for your own political agenda. I’m sure even someone on the Left can take their rose tinted glasses off and see something is rather fishy.

    • Gem

      It is the Conservative party who are taking huge donations from the power companies. The power companies are the second largest donators to the Conservative party, that is after the banks of course who are also allowed to do exactly as they please by this government.

    • morgantindale

      Andrew, I agree with your comments, but you should remove the words, ‘Labour’ and ‘Miliband’, and replace them with ‘Politicians’. I’m sure that if you tried hard enough, you would find plenty of Tories and Lib-Dems cosying up to the energy companies. Politicians are supposed to be the servants of the people, but they tend to treat us like serfs.

  • Ella

    This is rich considering that Gordon Brown’s brother worked for EDF!

  • Travis Bickle

    The conservatives are and will always be a party for the privileged

  • Screw_Globalism

    He is part of the same party…LibLabCON…one party masquerading as 3…at least the Soviets were more honest about it

  • CARL

    I wonder just how many meetings, free lunches etc milliband had with the energy suppliers when he was secretary of state for global warming, green taxes and windmills.

    • Gem

      Well at least the Labour party didn’t take huge donations from the power companies and then allow they to charge what they like.

  • Bill

    Yes “Labour’s price freeze could ‘jeopardise investment’ but not the investment they speak of. The investment of their customers! They better start to treat customers fairly or there will be a massive switch off and they will not only lose their customers but also their shareholders when there is no massive dividends coming in because the customers have left.

  • Habib Alam

    It is rediclous and unbearable story to raise prices in the wake of low income and retired people facing to day. Most of the part of of pension goes to energy people. water charges neverteless besides that. Where are we leading to.

  • http://www.figurewizard.com/ figurewizard

    “We have an energy market that isn’t working for ordinary families” Milliband tells us. Perhaps that has something to do with the lamentable Climate Change act of 2008 that the then energy minister – Ed Milliband introduced into UK law?

    • Gem

      Yes and the Conservative Party have increased green taxes by 60% since they came to power. The truth is that the green taxes don’t make that much difference most of the rise in prices goes into the power companies pockets in big fat profits, 3.7 billion between the biggest 6 companies in one year.

  • Biggs

    Make all energy contracts one month rolling, this would encourage competition. The idea that fixed term contracts save money is a myth, it just averages out your bills over the period with large stepped increases and removes your ability in instantly react to OTT rises. The amount you pay on a fixed tariff is greater then on a variable tariff at the start of the fixed term.

  • http://635csi.co.uk/ Howard Walker

    Milliband has some room to talk. He pre-warned them that their prices will be frozen if or when he regains power, thus enabling them to put up their prices in advance. Like many politicians these days, he has not yet learned to put his brain into gear before opening his mouth. That’s the problem when children get put into mens jobs. No one under 55 has enough experience of the world to be a successful head of government or opposition.

    • Gem

      The power companies need not have put prices up, they chose to do that and Cameron could have stopped them but he didn’t did he? No all he did was tell people to change the company who supply them. Of course he knows that it’s a mine field changing over and that the next company will like put there prices up once people have changed to them.
      The truth is Cameron won’t do anything to the power companies because they are the second largest donators to the Conservative party. That is our Prime Minister acting against our interests and putting power company fat cats before the people he is supposed to serve.

  • taffyekv

    Ah forgive me if I’m wrong on this but hasn’t this Coalition increased Green Taxes on Energy by 60% since it came into power. Funny how this is reported isn’t it and once again blame Labour for everything. Glad to see the mail reporting is still unbiased!!!

  • Catrin

    Holier than thou comes to mind on reading this story! He started the ball rolling in more ways than one to make the power companies put their prices up. He should have kept his gob shut about freezing prices in 2015. After hearing that little gem it was obvious that they would rush to put their prices up as much as possible before that date!! If he hadn’t realised that, then he shouldn’t be leader of Labour, full stop. As for wind power, I had a laugh during the awful storm some poor people suffered over the weekend when I saw one of the energy windmills flat on the ground unable to withstand the powerful wind! Not much good when there’s a bit of wind then are they! LOL!!!

  • mutton

    Popularism at its dirty best. Only thing that we can trust our current politicians to do is lie.
    We need to produce more and sell more that is the bottom line.
    We need to stop the £100 billion cost of belonging to the EU.
    We need to stop subsidising the three privileged countries of the UK and put England back on track.
    We need to reduce the number of people that use our schools, housing, health service and welfare benefits.
    In other words we need to start living within our means.
    The longer we leave it the less chance of eventual recovery.
    These lot at Westminster simply make their money and move on leaving a bigger mess than they inherited.
    Home rule should be our cry and the sooner it is the sooner we can start clearing up the mess.

  • Donald Merritt

    I expect politicians to lie. If they told the truth they would never get to be politicians. It is a fact that a politician can say ” you will have a referendum” but anyone with a tiny little brain know you wont get one but that comment will get a tick at an election. Brown got voted in by saying that and Cameron also. Now we have that weasel Miliband saying he will hold energy prices but of course we know he wont because he cant but of course he will get votes for saying it YET when he was Minister HE caused the prices to RISE with his actions. But of course he will get votes then make sure the energy companies will not lose a penny by his actions.
    He implies Tories are the cause of our economic problems but look at the history and you can see the culprits if you look. The Labour party (including the lot still running them) left a growing deficit of £700billion but to listen to them you would think they could run a country but they would have trouble running a tap. If they get in power the economy will nosedive and they will blame the Tories for that as well. They raised benefits and made working uneconomic. Then let in 3 million foreigners many of whom went straight onto benefits (and of course voting Labour).
    The reason politicians lie is simply the voters DON’T wont to hear the truth.

  • scotchgit

    My only comment to this is how many of the ex labour ministers are now on the boards of power companies airport authorities multinationals etc. No minister is going to give these people too hard a time because he may need a job in the future. People need to have better memories when they vote. Conservatives privatised the energy companies,which weren’t efficient at the time like most nationalised industries. So not entirely blameless when it comes to it. However they had the sense to only sell 49% of the shares therefore keeping control. It was the labour government under tony blair that sold of the controlling interest and put us at the mercy of greedy energy companies. Same time that milliband was a minister

    • Gem

      Yes but it’s the Conservative party whom the power companies donate to, not the Labour party! They are in fact the second largest donators to the Conservative party, that’s after the banks who are the Conservative parties first donators.
      Oh and the utilities were sold under the nineteen eighties Conservative government. Those utilities were very efficient and making good profits which went into the countries finance, not they will go into the pockets of other countries. The Conservatives sold us out for narrow dogma and election bribes.

  • hamlett

    this famous quote wer in it together ( cameron ) who is he kidding i bet he doesnt have to ever worry about the money to pay for food or keep warm like the normal people of uk , he has some bloody nerve 2 houses expenses claimed for french chateau’s omg wake up people he is living the dream while were all living the bad dream never hear these words mp’s on national minimum wage id bet there would be no mp’s if they were on there set wage, and that would save us all a fortune.

  • drkkrw

    not sure labour has all the answers but he certainly has touched on a key problem. there is no doubt whatsoever to anyone in the City that there is a revolving door between government and the industry. the result is we are in a mess that benefits no one but the UK utility investors, hence the high valuation, till recently, and the wave of takeovers from overseas investors of UK utilities over the last 5 to 8 years. no better proof than that for existence of unfair economic rent.

  • Jim

    One real question to ask and it the only one we need the answer to. WHO PRIVATISED THE UTILITIES…………………..THE NASTY PARTY.

  • Autofac

    So Len McCluskys monkey accuses Cameronof being weak”……do me a favour

  • Gem

    Time to look into the relationship between ministers and power companies. For one thing they shouldn’t be donating to the Conservative party it creates a vested interest on the part of the Conservative government when the Conservative governments prime and first responsibility is to work in the interests of the people they represent and not put narrow party interests first.

  • john

    come on people. wake up we are being raped by a government that services corporations.

  • Steve Bateman

    What a plonker. What difference is he going to make??

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