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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 11 June 2011

Paul Lewis asks why fuel is becoming so expensive, after Scottish Power announced it is to raise gas bills by an average of 19% and electricity bills by 10%. The company said the price change, which will take effect from 1 August, will affect 2.4m households. It blames a rise in wholesale prices and what it calls 'volatility' in global energy markets. But is such a big increase justified? Paul Lewis speaks to David Hunter, an energy analyst at M&C Energy and Joe Malinowski from the website TheEnergyShop.com.

Money Box looks at how energy companies are treating their low-income customers. We ask how fairly the new Warm Home Discount of £120 will be distributed, and why customers with pre-payment meters, often some of the UK's poorest, are not automatically offered the cheapest deals. Paul Lewis interviews John Stearne from Consumer Focus and Labour MP Barry Gardiner, who sits on the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

And the Bank of Ireland could face a legal challenge from UK customers after the bank published details of its plan to raise 4.2bn Euros - partly by buying back bonds at a maximum of 40% of their value.
But most bond holders will only get 20% of the value of their investment and that is if they accept the offer by 22 June. If they wait until after that date, the offer will worsen. The programme hears from Liberal Democrat MP, John Hemming.

Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Ruth Alexander.


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