Government to push energy regulator to impose price cap this winter

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Thu, 5 Oct 2017) London, Uk – –

The Government will push the energy regulator to impose price caps as early as this winter to provide “early relief” to consumers paying over the odds for their gas and electricity, the business minister has said.

Greg Clark said that he wanted Ofgem to use its existing powers to impose caps on standard variable tariffs as soon as possible, to help customers “suffering a detriment” in their energy bills.

The move could affect up to 15 million households in the UK, who could be paying up to £1.4bn more than they need to.

“We’ve said it would be better and quicker if they [Ofgem] used these powers straightaway,” Mr Clark told the BBC’s Today programme, admitting that such a move could spark a legal challenge from the industry.

He added that there was “strong consensus” in Parliament to introduce new legislation to give Ofgem a “legal backup” to impose caps.

The Government has a duty to act to stop energy companies taking advantage of their loyal customers by overcharging them, Mr Clark said.

He was speaking after the Government announced an energy price cap policy that was strongly criticised by energy firms whose share prices fell on the news.

“A lot of people see themselves as loyal customers and because the companies know that they’re loyal … they are overcharging them,” Mr Clark told Sky News.