The Business and Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has today published its report concluding its inquiry into energy pricing and the future of the energy market.
MPs have called on the government to update its energy bill support package to protect customers ahead of the expected further rises in October.
So what’s the industry response?
Ofgem’s failures contributed to this mess
Ms Cooper said: “Citizens Advice repeatedly sounded the alarm on Ofgem’s failures which contributed to this mess and we’re glad to see they’ve beefed up their rules in response.
“With huge hikes to bills expected this autumn, the government needs to be ready to act again. It must also overhaul the process for managing supplier failures so families are better protected in the future.
“Ofgem in turn needs to hold energy companies to account so people aren’t being chased by debt collectors or pushed onto prepayment meters when they can’t keep up with bills.”
“With energy bills projected to rise by even more than had been predicted, the report is right to say that the Government needs to look again at the existing support package and at what more can be done to help customers who are already struggling to afford their energy bills.”
Mistakes of the past
Responding to BEIS Select Committee’s report on energy pricing and the future of the energy market, Energy UK’s Director of Regulation, Daniel Alchin said: “With energy bills projected to rise by even more than had been predicted, the report is right to say that the government needs to look again at the existing support package and at what more can be done to help customers who are already struggling to afford their energy bills.
“It’s clear that a review of regulation is needed to avoid the mistakes of the past whilst ensuring a robust market that delivers an affordable, secure energy system that is not reliant on expensive imported gas.”
Social tariff for fuel-poor households
In response to the report’s recommendations, Matt Copeland, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at fuel poverty charity National Energy Action, said: “The next Prime Minister will need to implement these recommendations urgently, topping up the current energy support, announced in May, to offset the October increases.
“We also agree with the cross-party recommendation to introduce a social tariff to give fuel-poor households deep, enduring protection against persistent high energy prices, and putting in place a new scheme to help households that have accrued a mountain of debt during the crisis.
“The regulator must also not duck its role in reducing the growing burden of standing charges that are hitting struggling households the most. Overall, it is critical to ensure that prepayment meter customers do not pay more for their energy and are not punished further as a result of finding their bills already unaffordable.”
Energy bills crisis is a nightmare scenario
Following the publication of the report released today, a spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, commented: “MPs are right. The crisis facing millions of homes as energy bills continue to soar is ongoing and severe.
“The energy bills crisis this winter is a nightmare scenario, but the government is sleepwalking into it.
“Tory leadership hopefuls and ministers need to wake up and announce urgent financial support to offset the predicted price rises this winter and further help vulnerable homes stay warm this winter.
“But financial support will only be a stop-gap solution. We also need to see a rapid rollout of support to make homes and community buildings more energy efficient, a full review of the consumer energy market and action to bring cheap renewable energy on stream as fast as possible.”