Journal Column – 15th June

An important aspect of my election campaign in 2010 was the calling of a mandatory social energy tariff for the most vulnerable in our society.  The main subject of my Maiden Speech in the House of Commons was the importance of tackling fuel poverty.  Needless to say I was extremely disappointed by the announcement of Scottish Power this week that the company will hike its UK gas bills by 19% and electricity bills by 10% from 1st August.  There can be absolutely no justification for hikes like these from greedy energy companies whose mammoth increases come as the company simultaneously sees rising profit margins.

National Energy Action Cymru suggest a third of properties in Wales already live in fuel poverty and that this very real problem is on the increase as people struggle financially – facing the ever increasing cost of living coupled with frozen and stagnating salaries. 

Many consumers in Carmarthenshire may not be aware that Scottish and Southern Energy, aka Scottish Power, is the parent company of Swalec; a company which supplies many thousands of households in the county and throughout Wales.  It is therefore inevitable that the proposed price increases by Scottish Power will soon be seen on our energy bills in the coming months. 

The domestic energy market is in complete malfunction and an investigation is urgently needed to clamp down on the alleged ‘cartel-like’ behaviour of these energy companies which are quick to increase our prices but fail to take a penny off when wholesale costs fall.

I will continue to fight for action on fuel poverty and against what my colleague, Lindsay Whittle AM called, ‘gangsters in suits’.  The introduction of a mandatory social tariff for consumers is critical so that the fuel poor are removed from a competitive market that simply doesn’t work for them.

Man Trafod - Rhowch sylwad yma

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