Energy company bosses today defended controversial rises in customers’ bills, partly blaming green taxes for the recent increases of over 9 per cent.
One executive also denied that prices had been put up ahead of any freeze promised by an incoming Labour government.
MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee grilled the companies about their pricing policies and the impact of soaring bills on millions of consumers.
Guy Johnson, external affairs director of Npower, which has announced average rises of 10.4 per cent, said the largest driver of price rises had been the cost of the so-called climate obligation on power firms.
The green taxes cover the period to March 2015, so the energy firms will have to fulfil a large part of their obligation next year, he said.
“That was a concern when we were considering prices for next year.”
Mr Johnson said firms were faced with increases in wholesale prices of 3 per cent, increased transport costs of 10%, while costs such as the environmental obligations had jumped by 31 per cent.
“External costs are driving our prices increase,” he maintained. “We are not raising them in anticipation of a price freeze.”