“When 1 in 5 households locally are already in fuel poverty, it is unacceptable that energy companies are putting large profits before customers. Many families and pensioners across Wearside will face an impossible choice between heating their homes or eating properly and paying their rent.
“The 23 per cent rise in profits from British Gas comes at the same time that the company has announced prices will likely rise again this winter.
“All energy companies have blamed increases in wholesale energy prices for rising bills. However many industry experts have questioned this because when there is a fall in wholesale prices, this doesn’t find its way through to household bills as fast.
“I have written to the big six energy companies and will continue to press both them and the government to take action.”