After large profit margins were announced from SSE and British Gas, it may not come as a surprise to many that EDF have also seen their earning increase in the UK. But whereas SSE and British Gas seem to be profiting from margins on their gas and electricity prices, EDF's £1.69bn in revenue last year was driven mainly by the success of its 8 nuclear power stations up and down the country. Academics and energy experts have been emphasising nuclear's role in the UK's transition to a greener state, and while some companies are pulling out of the race (Npower are closing their power plants in the foreseeable future), others like EDF are investing heavily in the UK's future energy plans.
EDF are the company who unveiled the plans for a new nuclear station in Hinkley, Somerset last year, and they've just announced plans to extend the life of its power station in Kent until 2028. While Hinkley plans are certainly responsible for a large part of EDF's profit in 2013, it remains to be seen what their profits were in the domestic sector - these reports will be published in June of this year and will no doubt be under severe scrutiny with talk of monopoloy and 'dirty profits' in the air.
Despite the horrid reputation the Big Six energy companies have gotten after excessive price rises last year, many of EDF's 3.9 million households remained loyal to the company, after they increased their prices by 3.9% - lower than any of its rivals. They've also gained 600,000 customers in the past three years alone which certainly make them the lesser of six evils.
EDF announced that they'd invested £1.1billion on existing power stations (both nuclear and coal), gas storage facilities and it's domestic consumer supply business. Their chief exective said, "Our financial performance means we can make the big investments the country needs to give it the reliable low carbon energy it needs now and in the future. It also means we can invest in jobs and skills for the long term." These comments will be music to the ears of many nuclear supporters who wonder why the Government is clinging so dearly to fracking plans.
Ofgem are expected to carry out indepth reports in the coming months on the UK energy market as a whole, and the Competitions Authority are also expected to uncover some truths. At the moment, British Gas and SSE are firmly in the cross hairs of Energy Minister Ed Davy, although some have argued that his (and the public's) focus is in the wrong place entirely.
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