Of the big six energy companies, Centrica, which owns British Gas, and SSE have been hit particularly hard, with each reportedly losing one fifth of their share value since the price freeze pledge.
According to This is Money, Centrica’s shares have fallen by more than £4bn in the past four months, whereas SSE has seen £2.5bn knocked off its value.
Miliband accused of ‘economic vandalism’
Back in September 2013, Neil Woodford, one of Centrica’s largest shareholders, accused Labour leader Ed Miliband of “economic vandalism” for his comments on freezing energy prices.
At the time, Woodford said: “If Centrica and SSE cannot make any money supplying electricity to the retail market then they won’t supply it. The lights will go off, the economy will shut down.
“[This policy] is economic vandalism at a time when this country needs all the help it can get. It is insane, not least it is also fundamentally dishonest to suggest to the electorate that electricity and gas prices are where they are because of profiteering by the companies.”
New price hikes on the horizon?
The news follows a report from Barclay’s which states energy companies will need to raise gas and electricity prices by £40 this year if they are to keep profits in line with those of previous years. However, the report suggests suppliers are unlikely to do so during a pre-election year.
Last Saturday, E.ON became the last of the big six to hike energy prices this winter. The increases will see the average consumer charged about £50 more in 2014, despite government led cuts to green levies.