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Energy bosses summoned by MPs over price hikes



MPs are set to quiz energy company bosses on their decisions to increase consumer prices by as much as 10.4%.

Chair of the energy and climate change select committee Sir Robert Smith said that the group would look toward increasing transparency in the pricing of energy bills and energy company profits, when the energy chiefs sit before them on October 29.

He said, “The committee has […] decided to call in the energy bosses in the context of the latest wave of price increases.”

The committee will demand “reasons and justification” for the recent price hikes and look to see how “the transparency of energy company profits can be improved”.

In response to the price increases, the government has said that customers should look around for the best deals, but it has faced mounting pressure to act against the ‘big six’ energy companies.

On Tuesday, former Conservative MP Sir John Major said that the government should impose a “windfall tax” on energy companies to pay for the worst hit customers, who he claimed will have to choose between heating and eating this winter.

Labour leader Ed Miliband promised to act against energy companies at the Labour party conference in September, saying that he would impose a 20-month price freeze on energy companies to help tackle what he calls the “cost of living crisis”.

Sir Roger Carr, chairman of Centrica which owns British Gas, is an adviser to Conservative prime minister David Cameron.

Further reading:

Archbishop of Canterbury calls on energy firms to act generously

British Gas announce energy bills hike

SSE energy prices to increase by 8.2% in November

Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy costs sparks intense debate

Sir John Major: people shouldn’t have to choose between heating and eating