Public ownership would mean lower energy bills and lower inflation

Unite GS Sharon Graham highlights energy market failures as consumers continue to get a raw deal from Ofgem

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On the eve of the new price cap, Unite has highlighted how energy companies are making record profits while the government and industry regulator, Ofgem, stand by and do nothing to support workers and communities.

Ofgem is preparing to unveil the new price cap level, which will be implemented from 1 October. While it is expected to fall slightly, it is likely to rise again this winter and UK energy bills continue to be nearly double the level of October 2021. This means millions of households will remain in dire fuel poverty despite the new price cap.

Unite’s research shows that the current privatised energy supply, transmission and generation system isn’t fit for purpose and is failing the country. Energy companies, many owned by overseas governments and investors, are siphoning off record profits yet still hitting householders with enormous bills.

The picture could look very different if the UK had an energy system which functioned to meet our needs, rather than prioritising Big Energy profiteering. Taking back control of our energy could have saved UK consumers £45 billion in the last year alone – the equivalent of £1,800 per household.

The energy market is currently in the hands of profiteering businesses who continue to make billions. Meanwhile, as winter approaches, Ofgem has yet again failed to regulate sufficiently and will force millions into energy poverty and choosing between heating and eating.

Commenting on Ofgem’s latest price cap, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “This is yet another example of energy companies being left to rake in record profits while the government and its regulator are dancing around their handbags.”

“The solution is clear. Unite has demonstrated how the public ownership of energy will not only save households money but also help get inflation under control. Instead, we continue to allow companies owned by overseas governments and investors to keep filling their pockets at the expense of working people.”

Unite Investigates “Renationalising Energy – costs and savings considers how a publicly run energy network could use the massive profits of Britain’s energy giants to reduce household bills and fund the transition to a green future with secure jobs. 

By David Carnell