Energy bills ‘could be capped as soon as winter’

Gas and electricity prices could be capped as soon as this winter. That’s according to Energy Minister Greg Clark, who told the BBC that regulator Ofgem would receive legal backing […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Gas and electricity prices could be capped as soon as this winter.

That’s according to Energy Minister Greg Clark, who told the BBC that regulator Ofgem would receive legal backing from parliament to introduce a price cap.

When asked if this could mean a change in policy this winter, he said: “Precisely. That’s exactly why I’m keen that Ofgem makes use of their powers.”

Mr Clark added there is a strong consensus within parliament for the move and as a result, the party plans to publish legislation and vote to endorse this, giving Ofgem the legal certainty it needs.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said consumers have been collectively overcharged £1.4 billion by energy providers.

If the cap is implemented, it is likely to help significantly reduce this figure.

ELN attended the Conservative Party Conference earlier this week and spoke to the MPs, Ministers and party members in attendance – around half of them suggested a price cap risked stifling competition.

Lawrence Slade, Energy UK Chief Executive, said: “Over three million consumers have switched already this year and the number of standard tariffs have fallen by almost a million in the last six months.

“It is important that we do not risk halting this growth of competition and engagement in the market.”

ELN has contacted both Ofgem and BEIS for a comment.