Scottish Power blames ‘green levies’ for price rise yet paid £890m to shareholders last year

Scottish Power (SP) has just announced that it is to put up the price of its gas by an average of 8.5 per cent and electric by 9 per cent from 6 December.

Scottish Power (SP) has just announced that it is to put up the price of its gas by an average of 8.5 per cent and electric by 9 per cent from 6 December.

SP is just the latest big energy company to announce a price increase: earlier this week Npower announced that it would be putting energy bills up by 10.4 per cent from 1 December; and SSE announced recently that it would be raising electricity and gas prices by an average of 8.2 per cent from 15 November. And last week British Gas announced  that bills would go up by an average of 9.2 per cent for 8 million customers.

In total, four of the big six energy companies have put their prices up in the last month.

David Cameron has been keen to blame so-called ‘green taxes’ for the increases. He is wrong of course, as we’ve show here (green levies account for a maximum of £112 of the average annual fuel bill and don’t take into account the potential savings from energy efficiency policies). As the graph shows, they are also a relatively small part of the average bill – with things like network costs and company margins dwarfing the cost of green measures.

Green bills

Scottish Power is a particularly interesting case in this respect in that last year it more than doubled its pre-tax profits to £712m. The company’s chief corporate officer Keith Anderson received a £129,000 bonus, taking his total pay for 2012 to over half a million pounds, according to the Guardian. The Spanish chairman of Scottish Power also had his pay package doubled to £10.5 million in 2011 – you guessed it, shortly before the company raised prices for 2.4 million British households.

ScottishPower’s accounts also showed that £890m was paid out to the shareholders of Iberdrola. Bonuses for directors rose from £19,000 to £129,000.

And yet today, unbelievably, Iberdrola has jumped on the ‘green taxes’ bandwagon, saying that it has ‘no option‘ but to increase tariffs because of the government’s energy efficiency and environmental measures.

I hope this will be given the short shrift that it deserves.

One Response to “Scottish Power blames ‘green levies’ for price rise yet paid £890m to shareholders last year”

  1. Stephen Wigmore

    But what percentage is their profit of their turnover? Without that it is a meaningless figure.

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