Britain’s energy suppliers need to be more transparent about why prices are rising and how they are making profit, according to John Hutton, Secretary of State for Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
Hutton has written to the energy watchdog Ofgem calling for it to address the “lack of transparency” in the industry.
Utility companies have revealed bumper results this year, with British Gas reporting a £1bn profit. Hutton says that the companies are holding back information by not separating their profits from business-to-business customers from their consumer retail business. He says this reduced competition it the market.
In the past, Hutton has argued that energy companies need to make healthy profits to make it possible for them to invest in new technology such as renewables, and he opposes the idea of a windfall tax on the sector.
EDF Energy and British Gas have both increased their prices in the past month. In February, Ofgem announced a probe into rising prices in the gas and electricity supply markets. An interim report is due next month.