MPs call for full breakdown of all energy bills

ENERGY suppliers should be forced to tell customers exactly how much climate change policies are adding to their fuel bill, according to a report released today by MPs.

The energy and climate change select committee says industry regulator Ofgem should restore consumer confidence in the market by requiring suppliers to state how various components have contributed to their final bill.

This would include setting out the wholesale cost of the fuel used, the profit taken by the supplier and the amount contributed towards investment in green energy generation.

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, is expected to announce weak profit growth when it delivers half year results on Wednesday, raising fears that the burden of government-mandated social policies could force it to raise energy prices.

According to evidence submitted to the select committee, British Gas made just £48 profit on the average gas and electricity bill of £1,031 in 2011. Almost 10 per cent of the average bill could be attributed to environmental policies.

“At a time when many people are struggling with the rising costs of energy, consumers need reassurance that the profits being made by the Big Six are not excessive,” said interim committee chairman Sir Robert Smith MP

The MPs also say consumers are being hit by the decision to fund insulation programmes through levies on all bills, rather than direct public spending.

Industry body Energy UK said firms are working hard to be more transparent and simplify tariffs.