Energy Price Cap

Ed Davey Excerpts
Monday 3rd July 2017

(3 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark - Hansard

I agree with my hon. Friend. One feature of the energy market is that the poorer someone is, the larger the proportion of their income that they spend on energy. That is why it is imperative that vulnerable consumers should not be required go on the internet every few months to check that their tariff has not defaulted to a much higher one. That was the reason for my letter to Ofgem, and it is why I want its response to be vigorous. My hon. Friend is absolutely right that an aspect of the wider set of policies is to make it easier for consumers to know the price of energy and how much they consume, and smart meters are being introduced to help more people to do that.

Ed Davey Portrait Sir Edward Davey (Kingston and Surbiton) (LD) - Hansard
3 Jul 2017, 3:48 p.m.

Has the Secretary of State seen the analysis and evidence of former independent energy regulators who say that the consumer detriment pointed to by the CMA in this market was based on seriously flawed methodology? If he has not, will he look at that and report back to the House?

Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark - Hansard

I have seen that. This two-year inquiry conducted by the CMA identified £1.4 billion of detriment, which is a huge amount of money. When our constituents see the difference—it can be up to £100 a year—that they pay for a dual fuel bill by being on a dual fuel tariff, they know that that is significant amount.

The CMA said that suppliers have “unilateral market power” over their inactive customer base and could exploit their position by pricing their SVTs above a level that could be justified. That cannot go on.