Watchdog tells customers to quit Powergen over price hike

Energy watchdog Energywatch has criticised Powergen for hiking its gas prices by 6.2 per cent and is urging customers to ditch the utility company and shop around for a better deal.

The price hike will be effective from May and will affect 2.2 million people, including TXU Energi customers. TXU Energi was acquired by Eon-owned Powergen last October.

A spokesman for Energywatch says: “The 6.2 per cent rise is well above inflation. It may make the shareholders happy but it offers cold comfort for Powergen customers. It moves the company up the league table from its position as one of the more reasonably priced suppliers to one of the most expensive. We urge consumers to shop around and find themselves a better deal.”

According to a Powergen spokeswoman, the company has increased its gas prices because of the “consistently high wholesale price of gas”. Other gas and electricity companies are expected to follow Powergen’s lead, though none has announced any price increases yet.

Powergen is meanwhile restructuring its business after buying TXU. It is culling 1,000 jobs at TXU and will axe the brand once the restructure has finished (MW October 24, 2002).

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