Energy bill price cap ‘must be introduced urgently’

A report from MPs says that the government's planned cap on energy bills should be introduced before next winter, to stop loyal customers from being overcharged.

Competition in the energy industry is not working for 12 million customers stuck on poor-value tariffs, said MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee.

Rachel Reeves, Chair of the Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Committee said:

"The energy market is broken ... an energy price cap is now necessary and the government must act urgently to ensure it is in place to protect customers next winter."

The Committee said the cap should be an absolute price limit rather than a relative cap which would limit the difference between the highest and lowest prices charged by each energy supplier.

The committee was also critical of the big six energy companies for overcharging customers, who can pay as much as £300 a year more than those on cheaper tariffs, and Ofgem for being slow to act.

Rachel Reeves, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee continued:

"The Big Six energy companies might whine and wail about the introduction of a price cap but they've been overcharging their customers on default and standard variable tariffs for years and their recent feeble efforts to move consumers off these tariffs has only served to highlight the need for this intervention."

The committee found that energy suppliers too often target new customers with cheap deals to encourage them to switch, while making big profits from "sticky" customers on expensive variable tariffs who switch rarely or never.

Energylinx would urge any customers on a standard variable tariff to compare the market and see what energy suppliers could save you money. Energylinx offers an energy comparison and switching service. It's free, easy to use and completely impartial. You can do it online or by calling one of our friendly and knowledgeable energy advisors on 01259 220000.