Big six energy suppliers warned not to raise prices any time soon

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Big six energy suppliers warned not to raise prices any time soon

Ofgem tells companies they should be as slow as passing on a recent 15% hike in wholesale prices as they were in passing on recent price falls

The regulator Ofgem has warned the big six energy companies against raising prices in spring, despite a 15% increase in their costs.

It said rising wholesale gas and electricity prices were largely to blame for driving costs upwards, along with renewable energy subsidies. But its chief executive, Dermot Nolan, said this was not an excuse for tariff hikes.

“At this point in time it is not obvious to us that there should be price rises [to consumers],” Nolan said, adding that energy suppliers would need to justify any rise.

Energy companies said late last year that upward pressure from wholesale costs might soon be passed on to consumers with tariff price rises. But Nolan pointed to the way big players buy their energy: by acquiring as much as possible two years in advance.