Alan Whitehead

Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Test

  • Home /
  • News / Alan Whitehead MP to interrogate Big Six Energy firms

Alan Whitehead MP to interrogate Big Six Energy firms

 At a meeting of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, senior committee member and Southampton MP Alan Whitehead will demand to know the reasons why dual-fuel energy bills will rise by an average of 9.1 per cent this winter.

 

At a meeting of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, senior committee member and Southampton MP Alan Whitehead will demand to know the reasons why dual-fuel energy bills will rise by an average of 9.1 per cent this winter.

  
The firms’ bosses are being summoned before the influential group of MPs to explain themselves following daunting winter price hikes for customers. The evidence session comes hot on the heels of comments made by former Prime Minister John Major, who confirmed that many families would have to make the stark choice between ‘heating and eating’ this winter.


The Southampton Test MP will be quizzing representatives from SSE, E.ON, British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power and npower. Out of the six companies in attendance, only E.On will send its CEO to the session.


Despite energy firms recording huge profits last year, SSE’s customers will face 8.2 per cent higher bills from 15 November, British Gas prices are due to rise by 9.2 per cent on 23rd November, Npower's dual-fuel bills will go up by 10.4 per cent on 1st December and Scottish Power confirmed an 8.6 per cent rise on Thursday, effective from the 6th December. EDF Energy and E.On are shortly expected to follow suit.


To tackle the failing market, Labour has pledged to freeze gas and electricity bills for 20 months whilst the market undergoes an overhaul. Former Prime Minster, John Major, confirmed the need for intervention in the market last week by backing a windfall tax to claw back some of the profits made by the Big Six. 
Meanwhile the government has announced a wide variety of puzzling policies, from suggesting customers should put another jumper on, to axing social levies designed to help the most vulnerable with their bills. The government has not confirmed whether it will cut the controversial carbon floor price, a tax indirectly paid for by bill-payers which goes straight to the Treasury coffers and does nothing to cut carbon emissions.


Speaking ahead of the Select Committee session, Alan Whitehead said: 
“For too long, the big six energy companies have recorded huge generating profits whilst inexplicably, winter after winter, putting up people’s bills. They’ve done nothing to improve the transparency of their industry and have given every answer under the sun to try and justify their actions. It’s time we got some proper answers from them as to why this is happening. I won’t shy away from finding out the truth.”


Concerning the energy market and green investment, Alan Whitehead said:


“Although investment should be scrutinised to make sure it’s good value for money for consumers, we should not be cutting levies to support green investment, as this will leave us with a lack of infrastructure when fossil fuel prices rise in the coming decades. This will ultimately make people’s bills far more expensive. We should be looking at radical ways of making the market more transparent and making it work better for customers instead of just suggesting that they wear more layers of clothing and making knee-jerk policy decisions, as the government have been doing”.

                  
Notes:

  • Dr Alan Whitehead MP has been a member of the cross-party Energy and Climate Change Select Committee since 2009 and is only of the few remaining original members. The committee closely scrutinises the work of the Department for Energy and Climate Change and endeavours to hold the government to account over energy and climate change policies.

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.