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Energy firms told to justify price rises

Bosses from the biggest energy firms in the UK have been asked to go to parliament to justify recent price rises

Suppliers will be asked to explain why gas and electricity prices are set to rocket

Companies such as SSE, British Gas and npower have all recently announced they will be raising what they charge their customers by between 8.2% and 11.1%.

The price increases will affect millions of customers and are expected to be mirrored by the remainder of the big six energy suppliers.

Bosses called to parliament

The bosses of these firms will be quizzed by the Energy and Climate Change Committee on 29 October to see if they can justify the additional charges they are levying on their customers.

Blame has been placed by the firms at the door of the government, with those at the top saying energy subsidies are part of the reason for increasing bills.

The committee meeting with the energy bosses will seek to find a way to make the level of profits that energy suppliers make much clearer so that they can be scrutinised and challenged.

It will also ask why prices are on the rise at the moment and throughout the past few years, while also analysing the differences between the pricing structures and policies that are in place for each of the big six.

The chairman of the committee of MPs, Sir Robert Smith, said: “The committee has today decided to call in the energy bosses in the context of the latest wave of price increases.”

Bills under scrutiny

This represents the government’s latest attempt to fight back against a number of its critics. The latter include Labour leader Ed Miliband, who pledged to freeze prices for a full 20 months from the general election if the party should win in 2015.

In addition, former Prime Minister Sir John Major said those in power should levy a tax on energy firms profits.

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