The head of EDF Energy, Vincent de Rivaz, has said that the big six energy firms and the government need to work together rather than becoming enemies when it comes to keeping down the cost of energy bills.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, de Rivaz said that it was important that the two do not see each other as enemies, and instead try to work out ways that they can reduce what people pay together.
Saving money by ‘joining forces’
de Rivaz said on the BBC show that the government and the big six “should join forces to bear down the costs” of gas and electricity.
It comes in the week that the last of the big six providers, E.ON, announced that it will also be increasing what customers will be charged this winter.
The company said that its customers will be facing charges that are 3.7% higher than at the current time, which it revised down after the government made a change to its green levies, saying this would save households £50 per year.
With this cut in costs to energy firms being passed on to customers, de Rivaz said that there needs to be more done to further these savings and offer more support to the fuel poor across the nation.
“Energy bills are hurting. It’s not good enough for the energy companies to say that nothing can be done,” he said, adding that firms in this industry should be a “force for good” rather than being something that customers fear.
Politicians ‘must stop bashing’ firms
In addition to this call for companies to be more in sync with the government, a piece in the Sunday Telegraph by Centrica’s outgoing chairman Sir Roger Carr said that the government also must not bash the industry.
So far this year, Labour leader Ed Miliband has called for an end to the stranglehold that the big six have over the market, and promised to put an end to their near monopoly, with a start coming when they freeze prices from 2015, should Labour come to power.
Energy firms have also been accused of pushing up their profits and looking to maximise income – but Sir Roger said that this is not helpful when trying to reduce bills.
“All energy companies have been accused of profiteering, collaborating with competitors, manipulating costs to disguise profits, and caring little for their customers.
“These charges are false.”
He went on to say that compared to the rest of Europe, UK firms offer some of the lowest energy prices to be found, and that companies are bringing good value to the table.
“It is wrong to provide false hope to consumers that green energy can be a cheap commodity or that supply can be delivered without major investment,” he added. “Low energy costs are a thing of the past and a fiction of the future.”