Limited energy cap to be introduced

Limited energy cap to be introduced”

The regulator's headline measure was that it was to extend price protection to one million more vulnerable customers this winter - saving them an average £120 - through its pre-payment safeguard tariff.

The regulator also said it would work with the government to cap energy bills for a larger group of people who are on standard variable tariffs, but added that it would have to wait until legislation is passed before it could act.

Last week Theresa May announced plans to impose price caps for those customers on standard variable tariffs (SVT) - an energy suppliers "default" tariff.

Half of United Kingdom households are still on SVTs despite a pick-up in switching.

More than 18 million customer accounts in Britain are now on a standard variable tariff or other default tariffs, many of which offer poor value to customers because they are priced higher than the fixed-rate deals available to consumers who actively seek them out.

The regulator said it will work on extending price protection to at least 2m more vulnerable households for winter next year, once the timing of the government's price cap is put in place.

In the meantime, suppliers must step up efforts to get more of their customers on default tariffs onto better value deals.

Ofgem will be carefully monitoring to ensure any new default deals do not become another way to penalise customers who rarely switch.

The Prime Minister pledged to cap energy prices during her Conservative party conference speech, saying she would bring an end "to rip off energy prices once and for all".

"I have been clear that our broken energy market has to change - it has to offer fairer prices for millions of loyal customers who have been paying hundreds of pounds too much", May said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

Britain's energy market is dominated by the so-called big six providers - Centrica's British Gas, SSE, Iberdrola's Scottish Power, Innogy's npower, E.ON and EDF Energy, which account for about 85 percent of the retail electricity market. An enquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority found no evidence of cartel behaviour between the major six utilities in its investigation, which concluded past year.

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