Load of Hot Air; Energy Bills Are Capped in France, Spain, Belgium, Denmark and Portugal So Why Do the Power Bosses Say It Can't Happen Here?
Byline: EXCLUSIVE BY STEPHEN HAYWARD Consumer Correspondent
ED Miliband's pledge to freeze energy bills was boosted yesterday as it was revealed that more than half of EU countries already have similar price caps.
A Sunday Mirror investigation shatters claims that UK power giants would be crippled if forced to curb charges.
Hard-pressed families in France, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Italy and Portugal are already protected from inflation-busting hikes in their bills.
Industry bosses and investors insisted the Labour leader's plan will hit profits and investment and could lead to blackouts.
PROFITS But figures from the Council for European Energy Regulators show 15 of the EU's 28 member countries have regulated their markets since the 1990s to protect domestic and business customers from steep price rises.
Gas bills in Britain have soared by 41 per cent and electricity by 20 per cent since 2007.
Meanwhile the Big Six power firms - British Gas, SSE, Scottish Power, Eon, npower and EDF - raked in profits totalling more than PS10billion.
More hefty price rises are expected this autumn.
But while EDF of France and Spanish-owned Scottish Power hammer UK customers with aboveinflation hikes, similar rises are banned in their own countries. In France, prices fit an index-linked formula. …