Socialist Worker

Gas giants under fire for ‘hidden’ profits

Issue No. 2530

Profits are hotting up for the big six

Profits are hotting up for the big six (Pic: Flickr/Lee Haywood)


The main energy firms are making much bigger profits than they claim, a new report suggests

The report was commissioned by industry body Energy UK. It showed that the big six energy firms were making up to 24 percent profit on standard tariffs, according to the Sun newspaper.

For some, that’s over seven times bigger than the profits they claim to be making.

The big six are British Gas, E-on, EDF, SSE, Scottish Power and NPower.

The report found that the costs for supplying a typical family with energy in 2016/17 was £844.

But most households with one of the big six are on standard variable tarifs, paying as much as £1,172 a year.

This would leave a profit of £272 after VAT—or 24 percent.

Energy UK in June accepted the claim that typical profits for the big six was 3.3 percent.

The gap between claimed profits and the alleged higher ones varied.

Npower had the highest gap, with its real profits 7.4 times bigger than the profit it claimed to make.

Scottish Power’s real profit was 7.2 times bigger, while SSE’s was 6.9 times bigger.

Energy UK claimed the figures were misleading. It is keen to paint the energy suppliers in a good light.

In September 2014 it created an energy “news programme” alongside ITN to make sure the sector was “being understood as it should”.


‘So I am not alone’ Disgraced Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie reacts to Donald Trump’s election ‘Trump may be much less crazy than he sounds’ Deputy editor of The Spectator Freddy Gray on Trump ‘If you were born here, then your parents got to go’ What one US teacher told an 11 year old Hispanic student following Trump’s election ‘There are times when I mourn the passing of the gas chamber’ An apparent North Wales Ukipper @ukiparfon responds to anti-Trump demos ‘I keep being asked to go in and vote for things’ Andrew Lloyd Webber is fed up with the House of Lords ‘I have never considered myself a Unionist’ Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Alex Rowley says Labour should break with its “narrow” unionist ideology ‘Either you get on board or you disappear’ Ukip leadership candidate  Paul Nuttall has a sinister message for members

‘So I am not alone’

Disgraced Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie reacts to Donald Trump’s election


‘Trump may be much less crazy than he sounds’

Deputy editor of The Spectator Freddy Gray on Trump


‘If you were born here, then your parents got to go’

What one US teacher told an 11 year old Hispanic student following Trump’s election


‘There are times when I mourn the passing of the gas chamber’

An apparent North Wales Ukipper @ukiparfon responds to anti-Trump demos


‘I keep being asked to go in and vote for things’

Andrew Lloyd Webber is fed up with the House of Lords


‘I have never considered myself a Unionist’

Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Alex Rowley says Labour should break with its “narrow” unionist ideology


‘Either you get on board or you disappear’

Ukip leadership candidate Paul Nuttall has a sinister message for members


Nigel Farage Millionaire ex-banker lLeader of the hard right Ukip Nigel Farage has promised to lead a 100,000-strong protest over Brexit next month lInterestingly, Farage has only ever persuaded 36,580 people to vote for him in seven attempts to win a parliamentary seat  lHe failed every time

Nigel Farage

Millionaire ex-banker

  • Leader of the hard right Ukip
  • Nigel Farage has promised to lead a 100,000-strong protest over Brexit next month
  • Interestingly, Farage has only ever persuaded 36,580 people to vote for him in seven attempts to win a parliamentary seat
  • He failed every time

What could possibly go wrong?

A trial of driverless trains ended in disaster on the Delhi Metro earlier this month.

Two of the trains, which are fitted with “anti-collision technology”, collided with each other.

Happily they are set to be fully operational by the middle of next year.

Former London mayor Boris Johnson wanted to introduce them in the capital.


Bad cop, hood cop

Spit hoods are being used by 17 out of 49 police forces in Britain. A further four are considering introducing them.

The inhumane hoods, which are placed over suspects’ heads, have been used almost 2,500 times since 2011.

More than 600 of these were on people with “suspected mental health issues”.


Percy is denounced as ‘Poldark on pies’

Tory MP Andrew Percy will not be starring in a BBC drama anytime soon.

The “Northern Powerhouse” minister called on TV makers this week to produce more programmes in Yorkshire and the Pennines.

“Popular TV programmes help to showcase regions of the country, like Poldark has done for the Cornish coast,” he said.

Colleagues urged him to make his own bid for a glittering role, but he quickly ruled himself out, saying, “I’m not sure I quite have the body for it.”

A group of female Tory MPs chatting on Whatsapp were more unkind. One said, “It would be like Poldark on pies.”


Work until you drop

The Department for Work and Pensions is considering forcing all sick and disabled people on benefits to take part in “mandatory” activity.

The change would include those who are terminally ill and have the most severe conditions. It would hit those who don’t currently take part in any work-related activity.


Trouble for Tories over housing policy

The Tories are in a mess over housing. The working group for the Pay to Stay part of their Housing and Planning Act has cancelled its meetings without reason.

Pay to Stay would force council tenants to pay up to market rent, depending on their wages.

Local authorities say the policy is unworkable by the April 2017 deadline.

The Tories also want to charge councils a levy based on the value of their “higher value housing”.

But this is likely to be delayed as well, housing minister Gavin Barwell admitted last week.

He described it as “quite controversial”.

A senior civil servant has said the voluntary right to buy policy will also be delayed.


Learning flames

New schools will no longer have to install sprinkler systems, thanks to the Tories.

The FBU union said sprinklers had saved 17 schools from severe fire damage in less than a decade.


Scots Tories love up to Israeli state

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson is in hot water after visiting an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Golan Heights grabbed from Syria.

Davidson was part of a group of ten Scottish Tories, including nine MSPs, who visited the settlement in August.

Syrian human rights group Al-Marsad is “highly concerned” that the visit could indicate that the Scottish Tories endorse illegal settlements.

Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw plans a cross-party group called Building Bridges with Israel.


Rudd ignored evidence over Orgreave

Home secretary Amber Rudd decided against an inquiry into Orgreave without looking at all the evidence.

Police attacked striking miners during the Battle of Orgreave in June 1984, then framed several miners for riot.

South Yorkshire Police did not send its extensive materials on Orgreave to Rudd.

She did not approach the Independent Police Complaints Commission for the evidence it holds either.

Sign the petition demanding an inquiry into Orgreave at bit.ly/2fRqkMV

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