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Warning for energy firms

ENERGY FIRMS were yesterday cautioned by the energy watchdog against using investment plans as &ldquo;a shameful excuse to overcharge consumers&rdquo; .<br /><br />Ofgem&rsquo;s quarterly price report showed that a slump in energy wholesale prices had pushed up supplier&rsquo;s margins to their highest in five years. The watchdog said the companies had made an average of &pound;210 for each dual-fuel customer last month.<br /><br />The regulator added that the margin will widen further if suppliers refuse to cut prices, as wholesale costs are expected to fall by &pound;70 over the next six months.<br /><br />&ldquo;At the moment, the effect of companies smoothing prices has been neutral, but if prices stay unchanged, we will see customers losing out,&rdquo; Ofgem said.