OVO urges ministers to drop standing charges and implement social tariff

Nearly 72% of the UK public finds the standing charge unfair, with 76% supporting the idea that vulnerable households should be exempt from it, according to a survey

OVO is advocating for the abolition of the standing charge and the introduction of a social tariff.

Despite the recent decrease in the energy price cap from October, the standing charge on energy bills is poised to rise.

This increase means that energy bills will be 50% higher compared to pre-crisis levels.

The standing charge, which is set to cost all households approximately £300 this year, remains a constant expense, irrespective of the amount of energy consumed.

A survey of 1,003 energy customers, commissioned by OVO indicates that over seven-in-ten people in the UK (72%) find the current standing charge unfair, with three-quarters (76%) believing that vulnerable households should not have to pay it, particularly during winter.

OVO has recommended the removal of the standing charge for the most vulnerable households through the existing Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) policy.

The energy supplier suggests that the government can utilise changes to the EPG to remove the standing charge, directing relief to the most vulnerable households.

A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson told Energy Live News: “Ofgem assessed the impact of removing standing charges and concluded costs would increase for people who use more energy – such as the most vulnerable who need to keep their homes warmer due to medical conditions.

“We spent £40 billion covering half a typical household’s energy bill over the winter, and additional help is available for the most vulnerable through an increase to the Warm Home Discount, which is expected to help over three million families.

“Energy prices have now fallen significantly and we continue to monitor the situation and keep options under review, including for the most vulnerable households.”

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