Ofgem urged to abandon plans to introduce a quarterly price cap

Campaigners have called on the regulator to work with energy firms to offer additional support to customers

Big Zero Report 2022

Ofgem has been urged to leave plans for a more frequently reviewed price cap behind.

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition, which represents environmental and health campaigners, local authorities, trade unions and consumer groups, suggests a quarterly price cap increase in January 2023 will “penalise” households.

It argues that changes to the price cap must be made to support those on prepayment meters and those who live off-gas and on heat networks.

As record numbers of households face fuel poverty this winter, the group also calls for Ofgem to work with energy suppliers to create a package of additional support from suppliers for this winter.

The package suggested would be similar in scope to that introduced during the Covid pandemic.

Campaigners also call for an urgent reform of the “regressive” standing charges regime.

Last week, Ofgem Chief Executive Jonathan Brearley confirmed that the regulator will look at whether the cost of the standing charge could be cut.

Ruth London from Fuel Poverty Action said: “Ofgem has supported higher charges for people on prepayment meters and has added to the burden of the standing charge element of bills.

“Both force people on low incomes to pay for energy at much higher rates than the wealthy. The current crisis makes it urgent to reverse this grotesque injustice and bring in energy for all – a free band of energy to make sure that everyone can keep warm and keep the lights on.”

An Ofgem spokesperson told ELN: “Protecting consumers is our top priority and we take all representations very seriously from consumer groups, as part of the many open consultations we run. We have received the letter this week and will reply fully in due course.”

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