Energy minister says government has ‘clear legal advice’ on price cap

  Energy Minister Richard Harrington has said the government has “clear legal advice” on the energy price cap. Earlier this month, the government published the draft bill for an absolute […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha
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Energy Minister Richard Harrington has said the government has “clear legal advice” on the energy price cap.

Earlier this month, the government published the draft bill for an absolute cap on energy prices until 2020, which means a maximum price per kilowatt hour will be set that suppliers can charge.

British Gas owner Centrica’s UK head of home supply Sarwjit Sambhi recently refused to rule out a legal challenge on the government’s plans when grilled by MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee.

He also insisted a price cap would “hinder innovation and competition”. Some smaller suppliers have however said the cap is essential to stop energy firms exploiting customers.

When asked by ELN on the possibility of legal action against the government’s plans, Mr Harrington said it is going through a “proper procedure”.

He added: “It’s having extensive pre-legislative scrutiny by the BEIS Select Committee.

“The government is very careful to operate strictly within legal advice and guidelines… I’d be very surprised if there is legal challenge. But we live in a democracy, our rule of laws is a very important part of it and if people wish to do that, that’s precisely what the legal system exists for. But the government also has clear legal advice on this.”