Whitehall officials have launched a probe into alleged profiteering by energy firms, with claims they are not passing on the benefits of recent government interventions.
The government last month launched a six-month energy price cap for businesses to help them survive the continued increases in global energy prices.
The Sunday Times reports that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) is now investigating claims that some energy suppliers “have set prices that undermine the benefits of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme”.
UKHospitality, a hospitality sector lobby group, has said the difference between what energy firms are paying on the wholesale market and the amount they are charging businesses has soared, despite the government package.
The group said there was “no reasonable explanation for this colossal increase in margins” and is calling for an investigation by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA).
A Beis spokesperson said: “We are aware a small minority of businesses have reported that some energy suppliers have set prices that undermine the benefits of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
“We are working with Ofgem to ensure licence conditions have not been breached and businesses are able to see the full effects of the support.”
Businesses receive a discount until April on their energy bills as a part of the government support package, with a cap moving on a weekly basis depending on wholesale market energy prices.
The cap was set at 53p per kWh last week, however some businesses were being quoted 80p per kWh by energy suppliers.
The government has said the scheme will likely be extended past April for sectors deemed the most vulnerable to further energy price increases, such as hospitality and manufacturing.