Sunday, December 4, 2011

household bills for electricity soared beyond the fluctuations of the wholesale price - adding to the pressures of competition inquiry

The six major energy companies have been repeatedly taking advantage of brief spikes in the wholesale price of electricity to transmit both long-term increases household heads, a new sample of tutor the analysis.

The disclosures of potential speculation for many years have been described as a terrible MP comes as growing political pressure for the investigation of competition in the energy sector.

Npower, British Gas and others have repeatedly denied the claims of speculation and blamed the "green taxes" to increase costs. But new calculations of statisticians at the University of Manchester show a widening gap between wholesale and retail trade, even before

a couple of months in the national accounts have soared and prices, but without Wholesale dropped.

"There is a clear trend that shows a growing gap between the price paid by consumers and the wholesale price paid by energy companies," said Dr. Nathan Green, a statistician at the college .

Guardian obtained data on retail prices that consumers pay for electricity and compared to a composite measure of wholesale prices paid by electricity companies, specialized information produced by Mintec. These data show that the retail price, even excluding the impact of the tax change relatively new climate, growing at a faster rate than the wholesale price of electricity.

During the first six months of 2004, retail prices of electricity were on average £ 1.93 per 100 kilowatt-hours that large above. In 2010, this gap has more than doubled, to more than 4 pounds. Declined in 2011 due to cost increases in high-profile in the wholesale market, but average £ 2.73 in summer - even before the price increases go into the houses of the top six this fall

Green said: "When we take into account seasonal variations, random fluctuations and the difference between rising costs of wholesale and retail prices below, there is never a time where energy companies are losing money. "


statistical model suggests that about 80% of winter has passed up the price to the consumer, but when the wholesale markets fell during the summer, retail prices moved much less - only 50% of the amount. The data also show that when wholesale prices spike suddenly - as they did in 2009 - Consumer prices quickly follow suit. However, prices are falling more slowly and to a lesser extent after the peak wholesale price decreases.

Centrica, parent company of British Gas, upset critics earlier this year when it reported annual pre-tax profits of £ 1.9 billion - the largest ever - and then months later, it is increased consumption of gas and electricity prices by 18% and 16% respectively.
Christine McGourty, director of energy in the UK, the lobbying group that works on behalf of groups of great power, said that the data do not provide a meaningful picture of costs to provide Guardian energy to the consumers.

"Businesses buy much of their energy in advance, at different times, ensuring that energy is available if necessary and allowing them to lower prices for consumers Over time, "he said.

"Besides, what consumers pay their energy bills is not only the cost of gas and electricity they use, but a wide range of other factors that increased environmental obligations and social costs of the use of energy networks. "

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