DECC and Reuters data suggests prices rises could have been worse

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Data jointly compiled by Reuters and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), has shown that wholesale gas and electricity prices have risen at a much faster rate than retail prices during the last ten years.

According to an article published by Reuters, wholesale energy gas prices have risen by in excess of 185 per cent - representing a rise of 20 per cent per year over the last decade.

Meanwhile, since 2003 electricity prices at wholesale rose by over 130 per cent - an annual rise of 15 per cent.

In comparison, consumer gas bills rose by 96 per cent and electricity bills by 83 per cent over the past decade -  suggesting that suppliers haven't fully exposed consumers to the rises at wholesale.

The figures tend to suggest that the criticism levied at energy suppliers recently - that they have been using wholesale rises as a cover to overcharge customers for their bills - is unfair.

Of course, huge profit margins have led some consumer groups to accuse energy suppliers of increasing retail prices to reflect a rise at wholesale, whilst at the same time failing to lower retail prices when the wholesale energy prices fall. But these figures seem to suggest suppliers have absorbed the wholesale hikes and have only passed a percentage of the price increase onto consumers.

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