Concern over the cost of energy was renewed yesterday when E.ON, one of the six biggest power companies, reported a 26% increase in profits from its UK retail business, after pushing through a 9% increase in bills at the start of last year.
Figures published by the company showed that profit margins for the UK domestic supply business over the past 12 months have increased from 2.3% to 4% since the price rise. E.ON made just under £300m in profits from the UK, and its parent group in Dusseldorf reported global profits of £7.7bn.
John Robertson, who sits on the House of Commons energy select committee, said the industry regulator, Ofgem, should not have the “wool pulled over its eyes” by the E.ON results, and should continue its investigations into excessive profits in the sector.
“E.ON are trying to play down their results,” he said, “but the truth of the matter is, they make an absolute fortune from generation in this country and in Europe. And instead of paying out so much to shareholders, they should be trying to make energy affordable for some of the most vulnerable in society.”
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, urged the power company to use its improved domestic result to help householders struggling with their bills.