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Big 6 CEOs Claim Miliband’s Price Freeze Preventing Price Cuts

Redbig 6 energy companies

Red Ed Miliband has been rather quiet on his energy price freeze rhetoric recently, perhaps his big bro’ has leant him a book on economics at last. Whatever the reason, the hurriedly announced policy still has resonance and not just with desperate energy customers looking for a helping hand with rising energy costs.


That resonance is indeed reaching further, with Amber Rudd, the conservative MP and energy minister, claiming that two of the Chief Executives of the Big 6 have confessed that it was Miliband’s price freeze ruse that was preventing them from reflecting the relative falls in the wholesale gas and electricity markets in retail bills.

Rudd said:

“Several chief executives have said to us they would otherwise have put prices down.

“One is on the record [Paul Massara of nPower] and I have one other saying that to me.

“We are now seeing wholesale energy prices, gas prices particularly, falling – even in the forward market – and I think it’s absolutely essential that Ed Miliband distances himself from that proposed freeze because otherwise we will never get the cuts that we really need to have.

“I don’t think they [the Big 6] are using it [Miliband’s price freeze] as an excuse”

Labour’s shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint said:

“I think if two CEOs of companies have reported to Amber Rudd that they are artificially keeping prices high, she should report them to the [Competition and Markets Authority] because that is as far as I understand against the rules of competition”

A spokesman for Ofgem added:

“You would expect in a competitive market that a sustained period of wholesale costs would pass through into retail costs. For us this is all the signs of a market that is not working.”


Whilst the claim that wholesale market falls cannot be passed through because of Miliband’s message is as fanciful as the proposed policy itself.

Perhaps the real driver in this story is that the conservative party is green with envy over the populist rhetoric opportunity being seized by the opposition and that regardless of realism it is already proving a vote winner.