ECONOMY

Business Secretary and energy regulator agree price cap should ‘remain in place’


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nergy companies and the Government agreed the energy price cap must “remain in place” during crunch talks to find a solution to record gas costs.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held a crisis meeting with the industry before announcing to the Commons that ministers would not be bailing out energy firms and that the energy price cap would be “staying”.

In a joint statement issued late on Monday evening, Mr Kwarteng and Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley confirmed they had taken a unified position over the price ceiling continuing.

“Central to any next steps is our clear and agreed position that the energy price cap will remain in place,” they said.

Mr Kwarteng had earlier told MPs the cap saves 15 million households up to £100 a year, adding: “It’s not going anywhere.”

It comes as the Daily Telegraph reported that some companies present at the meeting – attended by the likes of Scottish Power, Octopus, E.ON and EDF – called for the cap to be scrapped amid fears more firms could collapse, with four having already gone bust.

Some analysts have reportedly predicted the UK’s energy companies could be drastically reduced over the coming months, leaving as few as 10 if the gas crisis continues.

The energy price cap, following a review in August, is already set to rise.

From October 1, those on default tariffs paying by direct debit face an increase of £139, rising from £1,138 to £1,277.

Prepayment customers will see a higher increase of £153, taking their annual bill from £1,156 to £1,309, according to Ofgem data.

Behind the call for industry support are surging wholesale gas prices which have increased by 250% since January, with a 70% rise since August alone, leading to the demise of some smaller energy firms.

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