Sir – High energy bills are a big problem for many people locally, especially at this time of year. 1.6 million children in the UK live in fuel poverty, and this winter one older person will die of cold every seven minutes. Meanwhile the Big Six energy companies are making billions in profits and have failed to pass on recent cost-savings.

It’s clear that privatisation has been a disaster – yet our government is using our aid budget to promote this failed approach in countries like Nigeria, where the result has been higher prices, blackouts and job losses.

We can and should use aid money to improve people’s lives. But this will only happen if it’s used in the right way. For example, in Bolivia and Costa Rica, energy co-operatives have provided electricity in rural areas where previously it wasn’t available. It’s high time our politicians realised that the power of the Big Six is failing consumers in the UK – and stopped supporting the same failed model abroad.

Arpad Toth