By Maximilian Clarke

EDF Energy saw revenues grow £200m in 2011 despite an 8% fall in sales on account of last year’s unseasonable warm winter. This, consumer groups have today said, should prompt further price cuts across the UK's ‘Big 6’ energy companies.

Consumer Focus’s pleas are particularly pertinent at a time when high energy bills, above target inflation and rock bottom wage growth are eroding consumer spending power, resulting in a UK-wide drain on business confidence.

“EDF Energy’s UK profits have risen despite lower energy use in the milder winter. This will leave many customers wondering whether energy prices can, and should, be cut further. SSE also revealed a similar picture earlier this month with a predicted profit rise despite falls in consumption,” said Audrey Gallacher, Consumer Focus’ Director of Energy.

“We need successful, profitable companies. But consumers need to know big profit margins are not being made needlessly at their expense. The issue is not how much money is made over one year, it’s whether the market is working as a whole, pricing is fair, and if suppliers are providing enough transparency.

“We know many consumers don’t trust their supplier, and getting greater clarity over pricing and profits is key to rebuilding faith in this market. Ofgem must act on the recommendations of the firm which recently scrutinised the energy suppliers’ accounts — to make sure information is fully transparent, comparable, and includes profit and trading information from across the whole of their business.”

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