Scottish Power has been accused of taking advantage of its loyal cutomers in order to increase its profit margins at the exact time when it’s customers need their services most.
Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru candidate for Clwyd South slammed Scottish Power and other energy companies for raising their energy bills by as much as 9% as temperatures plumetted, to a record -17 degrees in some cases.
Last week, Scottish Power put a 2% rise on gas and 8.9% on electricity, a £52 increase to its average annual bill which now stands at £1,357.18. Scottish and Southern Energy is increasing its gas tariff by 9.4% on 1 December, while British Gas is upping its gas and electricity bills by 7% on 10 December.
Mabon ap Gwynfor said that these increases would hit north Wales particularly hard.
“People in this region have historically received their energy supplies from Manweb, who are now part of Scottish Power. These customers now face a hike in their bills at the exact time when they need to keep their homes warm. They always seem to raise prices for the winter, which is unethical practice, but the timing this year is particularly bad,” said Mabon ap Gwynfor.
“It’s a cynical method of increasing profits. At the same time they have cut their discount for prompt payments increasing their profit margins further at the expense of their customers
“These companies have shown no loyalty to their customers, therefore there is no reason why the customers should show any loyalty to them either. The energy firms think that they can get away with it because most people are unaware of how simple it is to change suppliers. I urge people to compare their current tariffs against others and not be afraid to switch. They can do this by asking for advice from their local Citizens Advice Bureau.
“I would also urge people to check if elderly and fragile relatives or neighbours are kept sufficiently warm as it is they who are most prone to suffer during these extremely harsh conditions.”