Cost of living: Energy boss on ‘mechanism’ to help consumers
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Households in the UK are facing a major fossil fuel energy crisis as Ofgem last week announced the new price cap for households will rise by to £3,549 from October. Charities and experts have warned that millions of families will face fuel poverty, where a significant portion of their income is eaten up by energy bills. However, with the Tory leadership race current underway, the Government has not yet announced any major relief measures following the price cap increase, despite growing to calls to freeze the energy bills.
Mr Johnson piled extra pressure on the next Prime Minister, who is expected to be Liz Truss, by promising Britons that they would see “a pipeline of cash” once a new leader is elected.
In light of this, Mike Foster, who is the CEO of industry body Energy and Utilities Alliance, called on Ms Truss to ignore Ofgem’s price cap increase and freeze the bills at £1,971 a year.
Under such plans, customers’ bills would remain the same, while the Government paid the difference to energy companies.
When asked whether such a plan was possible, Mr Foster told Express.co.uk, “Absolutely, it’s what the new Prime Minister could do after taking office on the 5th of September, on the 6th if she wanted to.
“She could say ‘right we’re going to intervene in the market, we’re going to have an emergency budget and we’re going to send a signal to consumers that the price cap that was announced in August that kicks in from the 1st October, we will keep it as it was.
“‘We’re not going to allow them to charge you anymore for your energy on a per unit basis, and what we will do as Government is to foot the difference.’
“The Government could absolutely do that, and it is time for them to do that, as I say, it’s a reasonably simple approach compared to some of the other alternatives kicking around.”
The Government has been facing growing pressure from groups across the spectrum, calling for the UK to freeze the price cap at its previous level.
These groups include Labour, major energy companies like Octopus Energy, British Gas, and Scottish Power, and campaign groups, all of whom demand a plan to help the millions of households who now face fuel poverty as a result of this price increase.
Mr Foster hailed the benefits of such as approach, saying: “It’s the cheapest way of doing it because Government can borrow cheaper than anybody else, and it’s the fairest way of doing it.
“If you tick all of those boxes, it really should be a no-brainer that this is what the Government does.
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“It will also avoid having the scare-mongering about the next price cap increase in three months’ time.
“Do we really wanna be here in three months’ time trying to scare people again about how high their energy bills are going to be?
“The worst output is if people start to in effect self ration energy usage, living in a cold home frankly, because the health impact of that are huge, and the public should not have to do it.”
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