Energy company SSE has announced this morning that it will raise electricity and gas prices by an average of 8.2 per cent from 15 November.
The energy firm has said it “deeply regrets” having to put up prices, but has to do so for three reasons: the higher cost of buying wholesale energy, paying to deliver energy to customers’ homes, as well as government levies.
Looking through SSE’s company reports (p92), however, it seems there is another, quite different, reason SSE may be putting up prices.
Any guesses as to what it might be?
This year, the top three directors at SSE were due to see their pay double, with the highest paid director set to pocket a total pay packet of just under £2 million (1.9m) compared to £1.1 million in 2012.
The other two executive directors both earned £1.4 million this year compared to just short of £700,000 in 2012.
In fact, the more one looks into it the more one realises that the company has a track record of increasing prices while its directors put their snouts in the trough.
Earlier this year the Daily Record reported that Ian Marchant stepped down as chief executive of Scottish & Southern Energy with, as well as an £840,000 salary worth £1million with bonuses, a £9million pension pot. He also left with share options worth up to £4.8million.
For 2012, the company also announced profits of nearly £1,500 a minute.
More broadly, profits of the Big 6 energy companies have risen by 74 per cent since 2009, while prices have risen by 13 per cent. Centrica, the company that owns British Gas, saw adjusted operating profit rise by 9 per cent to £1.58bn for the six months of 2013 to 30 June.
Maybe I’m being a cynic, but perhaps there is a connection between the constant energy price rises and the bumper pay packets going to those at the top of our energy companies.
Recently Left Foot Forward looked at three reasons Ed Miliband must not cave in to fat cat energy bosses