Earlier this week the Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill completed its passage through the House of Commons, and has passed to the House of Lords with the expectation that it will become law by this summer. The Bill fulfils the Conservative Manifesto promise to protect consumers from unfair energy bills and is the first step in reforming the UK’s broken energy market.
Today’s energy market is clearly not working for ordinary consumers. Customers who shop around and switch suppliers can save around £300 each year, but energy bills remain higher than they should for millions of households. Ofgem, the Energy Regulator, has already introduced a safeguard tariff cap on prepayment meters, saving five million of the most vulnerable customers an average of £60 each year. This Bill will build on that by putting an absolute cap on default standard variable energy tariffs by the end of the year so that the 11 million households on these rip- off tariffs can feel the benefits this winter.
Strong competition is the best way to protect the interests of consumers, and this Bill is part of larger efforts to reform the energy market, giving more power to consumers, increasing competition through the rollout of smart meters and making switching suppliers quicker and easier for everyone.
Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire said:
“I am really pleased to support this Bill which will offer protection from excessive energy bills to South Derbyshire households. It is often the most vulnerable in our society that are hit the hardest by these bills and they are a concern for many people.
This is a smart and temporary intervention while we work to fix the market by giving power to consumers and increasing competition.”