According to the new report from the energy regulator Ofgem, Britain’s privatised energy suppliers are making more than £100 out of every customer by refusing to cut bills during the record freeze.
They are now making an average profit of more than £105 a year from every dual-fuel customer.
The wholesale price of gas fell by around 60 per cent between 2008 and 2009. But suppliers chose not to cut customer tariffs before the winter - meaning a profit bonanza of £846 million a month.
The Campaign for Public Ownership believes that the only long-term solution to the problem of energy company profiteering is to restore the energy companies to public ownership.
The problem lies in the ownership structure of the energy companies. All of them are Public Limited Companies, whose overriding aim is to maximise profits for shareholders. That's what PLCs do. Instead of reacting with horror to the entirely predictable news that PLCs are putting the interests of shareholders before Britain's long-suffering energy consumers, we should instead be calling for the government to take the one step that will lead to lower energy prices in the long term. Restoring the energy companies to public ownership will mean that prices can be lowered, as there will be no shareholder dividends to pay.