The UK’s largest energy companies pay out billions to their shareholders, while many families and businesses continue to suffer under the weight of mounting energy bills.
In 2011 the big six energy providers rewarded shareholders to the tune of billions of pounds, despite the fact that average energy bills have climbed to a staggering £1,310.
EDF shareholders received a collective £2.4 billion, while E.ON paid out £1.9 billion. Scottish Power owner Iberdrola rewarded shareholders with £1.7 billion, a figure that was almost matched by npower’s £1.2billion.
Surprisingly, the payouts at the remaining two companies in the big six were slightly more restrained. While British Gas owner Centrica paid out £575 million, Scottish and Southern Energy paid £717million.
Hard-pressed families and OAPs struggling to make ends meet will be shocked that energy companies have paid out billions to their shareholders, while bills have rocketed,” said Scotland’s Shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex.
“At a time when we need huge investment in our energy infrastructure and all the energy firms say they have no option but to increase bills, there are serious questions about how they can justify these huge pay-outs.”
Centrica has warned that gas prices for businesses are set to increase by 15% next winter. In addition, proposals in the government’s draft Energy Bill suggest that an overhaul of energy initiatives could hike up average energy bills by £160 by 2030.
A recent poll also revealed that more than half of companies were concerned about the soaring cost of business energy bills. This concern was also confirmed by a recent survey conducted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
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