A fiery Caroline Flint yesterday attacked the Coalition for failing to crack the whip on the energy watchdog Ofgem, as she launched a new Labour scheme to help people club together to switch energy tariffs.
Earlier at Labour’s conference in Manchester, the Opposition leader Ed Miliband declared he would scrap the regulator if his party wins the 2015 election.
First claiming the Prime Minister’s promise to be the greenest government ever “lies in tatters”, she laid into Energy Secretary Ed Davey for firing “the starting gun on the next dash for gas” and claimed his predecessor Chris Huhne “took the axe” to the solar industry.
This was a dig at the Feed-in Tariff fiasco when the Government was taken to court for halving subsidies without giving enough notice.
She said: “Tories and Liberal Democrats. Creating uncertainty. Deterring investment. Costing us jobs.”
In a first for a British political party, the Shadow Energy Secretary announced the SwitchTogether scheme which the party claims will help cut electricity bills for thousands of people.
According to Ofgem, 60% of consumers have never tried to switch supplier.
Ms Flint said: “If the energy companies want our business they need to name the price. Stand together. Buy energy together. Switch together.”
Along with a partner, iChoosr, the scheme will help people bulk purchase electricity at a cheaper rate than they are likely to be able to get on their own.
Labour plans to launch three pilot areas next month before offering it nationally. The party says it will focus on “hard to reach” customers who would normally not engage with the energy market. Volunteers will deliver leaflets, go door to door to sign people up and organise community meetings.