Energy companies retain excessive profits as taxpayer picks up the tab

Responding to today’s announcement (Wednesday 21 September) that the government will introduce short term measures to reduce the cost of businesses’ energy bills, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:

“The government plans are a short term taxpayer funded panic measure. Although they will give business some respite on soaring energy bills in the short term, employers are crying out for long-term solutions in order to be able to plan with confidence for the future.

“Yet again the taxpayer is being required to pick up the tab, with no check or penalty being placed on the excessive profits being generated by the energy companies who will be laughing all the way to the bank.”

Research by Unite established that ‘rampant corporate profiteering’ by Britain’s supply and distribution companies is feeding the country’s soaring energy costs. The major energy suppliers, distributors, and generators have made £15.8 billion in profits in the last year The UK’s Big 4 energy suppliers - Centrica, E.on, EDF and Scottish Power made  £9.5 billion profits. This is up 84% on profits pre-pandemic.

Before the energy crisis business energy costs were already the highest in Europe. The failure of successive governments to invest in renewable and nuclear energy has made the current crisis far worse for UK businesses.

Businesses are still facing far higher gas and electricity bills than a year ago and there remain genuine fears that energy intensive industries will be forced to cut jobs, which will damage the economy.

Until the government introduces long-term solutions to the broken model of the UK’s energy market and addresses its over-reliance on fossil fuels, the cost of energy will remain excessive and UK economic growth will be stymied.


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.