No energy bill price cap this winter

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A price cap on vigor statutes proposed by the prime minister last week are not likely to take effect before winter.

Theresa May had vowed to revive a is our intention to cap charges for an extra 12 million consumers.

However, Ofgem said it would have to wait for legislation to be in force before it could take action on standard variable tariffs.

Until then a more limited price cap will handle another one million low income households, the regulator said.

That move will, on average, save households PS120 a year, the regulator said.

Last week Business Secretary Greg Clark said a gas and energy price cap could be imposed as early as this winter should Ofgem decide to use its powers.

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Media captionOfgem CEO tells Today he won’t speculate on how long it will take government to introduce cap

The BBC is felt that Ofgem is unwilling to do so because it believes vitality corporations could challenge its decision.

A Department for Business spokesperson said draft legislation on an vigor price cap for default tariffs would be introduced this week.

The legislative process could take as long as a year, and then another five months for Ofgem to applied a cap.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour’s shadow business secretary, said legislation must force the regulator to enforce a price cap.

Who benefits this winter?

One million households who get the Warm Home Discount will see an vigor price cap from February – an extension of the cap already in place for prepayment meter customers. This will also apply to another two million vulnerable households the following winter.

What is a standard variable tariff?

When customers’ fixed-term bargains aim they usually automatically move to this tariff, which applies to 12 million households. Ofgem says the rate discrepancies between the average standard variable tariff default deal and the cheapest rate in the market lately made more than PS300.

What does the government want to do?

It has recreated a is our intention to cap these variable tariffs, overseen by Ofgem, but the regulator says this will not happen until new legislation has been to be adopted by Parliament. It is unclear just how long this will take.

What happens in the meantime?

Some suppliers are moving towards vacating variable tariffs. Ofgem has also changed the relevant rules to allow suppliers to default patrons on to another attached deal. Customers are still likely to be better off by scouring and switching themselves.

Dermot Nolan, the regulator’s chief executive, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that vigour firms should be doing more to move people off standard variable tariffs.

“I would challenge the entire industry to say the standard variable tariffs are not good deals. The ball in some senses is in your court – do more, ” he said.

Michael Lewis, UK chief executive of E.on, claimed the retail vigor sell was working well.

“We’ve got 60 contestants in the market with new entrants approaching 20% the shares, we’ve got high levels of switching, with 3.5 million customers switching so far this year, which is a significant increase on 2016, ” he told Today.

Mr Lewis reinterated E.on’s plans to move all customers off its criterion variable tariff from next year.


By Dominic O’Connell, Today programme business presenter

Dermot Nolan, chief executive of the vigour regulator Ofgem, presented a less-than-ringing endorsement of Theresa May’s flagship price-caps programme this morning. It is a “difficult issue”, he says , mentioning it had “split” the Competition and Markets Authority, and that his organisation “will try and make it work” so that average prices would fall.

Mr Nolan, perhaps, ensure the next spin in the price cap saga’s plot.

The big-hearted six vitality suppliers, stimulated into action by Theresa May’s menaces, are establishing plans to scrap the standard variable tariff – the( sometimes) expensive price program that has led to the most anger over vitality bills.

E.on has already stopped offered the standard variable tariff, instead forcing a user to make a decision about what kind of bargain they would like. Ian Conn, who runs British Gas owner Centrica, dedicated a heavy intimate that the UK’s biggest vigour supplier would do something similar.

It would be a fitting point to a tortuous narrative if price caps for standard variable tariffs were included in a year’s day – simply for those tariffs to have melted away in the meantime.

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