Labour accuses Big 6 of c. £4bn overcharging on bills.

Guardian: “Households may have paid £150 over the odds for their electricity over the past three years because energy companies bought their power for almost £4bn more than the average market rate, Labour has claimed.” “In a new analysis of official figures, the Labour party, which has pledged to freeze prices for 20 months if it wins the general election in 2015, said the big six energy suppliers appear either to be inflating their prices to make extra profits for their own power plants, or striking very expensive deals to the detriment of consumers.
Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, said she could demonstrate that the energy giants – which supply 98% of households in Britain – have been buying electricity at a far higher price than they could get on the open market. This amounts to about £50 a year per household for the last three years for which data is available, she said.”
“These figures reveal the full extent of the way consumers have been overcharged for their electricity,” Flint said. “Energy companies always blame wholesale costs when they put up bills, but it now looks like they could have deliberately inflated prices to boost profits from their power stations.
“The time has come for a complete overhaul of our energy market. Labour will break up the big energy companies, put an end to the secret deals and force them to do all of their trading on the open market.”
….MPs have long raised concerns about the potential for energy firms to increase their profits by selling power from their own stations to their retail arms, either directly or indirectly.
In evidence to MPs in November, all the firms denied selling power from their own stations to their supply businesses at inflated prices and said they only “self supply” a very small amount of electricity or none at all.
….To end any doubts over the issue, Labour wants to make sure the big six formally separate their power stations and supply companies in a similar way to the proposed ringfence for the banks.”