Energy giant SSE has announced their intention to implement a cap on their energy prices from March this year, making it the first energy provider to instigate price reductions outside of the savings passed on from rolling back green levies.
It is thought that the move is a direct response to the recent media witch-hunt aimed against energy companies and their allegedly inflated prices, and sees SSE laid the benchmark to other suppliers over their current price structure.
SSE however have disclosed that the move will probably see the company decrease their levels of investment in energy efficiency and renewable initiatives, which could be potentially problematic considering recent data forecasting fuel shortages in the near future.
SSE are currently one the UKís largest investors in energy initiatives, and have invested in the region of 1.7 billion every single year since back in 2010. The company have now said that they will probably decrease their budget to below £1.5 billion, citing that it was not financially viable to reduce consumer bills and uphold all of their current energy initiative costs at the same time.
All of Britainís ëbig sixí energy firms have made announcements in the past two months about reducing the amount they raised their prices by back in the Autumn, after the government announced in December that they would cut the green levies being charged on energy firms.
The move has seen the average bill payer shave £50 off their annual bill, though questions have now arisen whether this success is worth risking potential energy shortages in the next few years.
Labour leader has previously identified his intention to freeze energy prices for a total of 20 months should he win the 2015 general election in a bid to try and ëreset the marketí to being more consumer orientated.
“The prospects for investment in generation assets in Great Britain are … not encouraging,” the company identified in a statement addressing the governmentís recent changes to environmental initiatives.
Recent forecasts have suggested that the UK will have to acquire over £200 billion worth of funding within its energy industry by 2020 in order to ensure supply for demand is met sufficiently and the right technology is created for a sustainable future.
Recent reductions on the green levies placed on energy companies has cast doubt over whether this target will be met, with the issue of carbon emissions rising in prominence in recent times.
The government has implemented new policies to try and encourage more people to use green energy, and has reformed the energy market so that cheap green tariffs are more prominent and available to customers.
“(SSE) will complete a wide-ranging review of its offshore wind development portfolio by the end of this financial year and will report on its conclusions then,” the company said.
Meanwhile, SSE reiterated their intention to retain energy prices at their current level till at least the second quarter of next year, and will only consider a change at that time.
“SSE intends to cap energy prices at their new level until at least the spring of 2015,” the company said.
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