Britain's opposition leader Ed Miliband has pledged to freeze energy prices until 2017 if the Labour Party wins the general election in two years.

Miliband promised to take on energy companies after claiming that British consumers have been charged "too much, for too long".

"The system is broken and we're going to fix it," said Miliband in his Labour party conference speech.

"If we win that election in 2015 the next Labour government will freeze gas and electricity prices until the start of 2017. Your bills will not rise. It will benefit millions of families and millions of businesses."

Miliband also called for the six largest energy companies, who make up 99% of the UK energy sector, to be broken up and better supervised by a new regulator. He claimed this would help drive down prices.

Rocketing Energy Prices

Figure 1: UK Energy prices have rocketed from 2012 to 2013 (Chart: Reuters)
Figure 1: UK Energy prices have rocketed from 2012 to 2013 (Chart: Reuters)

UK electricity and gas prices have rocketed over the past year.

In November 2012, SSE raised its gas and power tariffs by 9%, while EDF Energy raised its tariffs by the highest amount in the market - 10.8% [Figure 1].

Over the last few years, Centrica and other energy suppliers have been accused of making excessive profit from supplying energy to cash-strapped households. Centrica raised its gas and electricity prices by 6%.

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