A trio of challenger energy firms have come out in favour of a new price cap

Mark Sands
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Penrose will lead the debate tomorrow afternoon in the House of Commons (Source: Getty)

A trio of challengers to the Big Six energy firms have come out in favour of new pricing restrictions as parliament debates market reform.

The House of Commons will spend six hours debating the energy market today, with a former Tory minister leading the calls for an intervention.

Ex-cabinet office minister John Penrose is calling on the government to create a new “relative price cap” to limit the amount customers’ bill can increase at the end of a contract.

And three of the market’s challenger firms have backed Penrose’s proposal.

Bosses from Ovo Energy, Utility Warehouse and Octopus Energy all said the cap would boost competition in the market.

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Ovo Energy chief executive Stephen Fitzpatrick said: “Almost 20 years after privatisation, it’s clear that the energy market is failing the customers it should serve.

“All efforts to date - from the expensive and time-consuming CMA inquiry, to the relentless tinkering by Ofgem - have failed to protect consumers and address the lack of consistency on pricing.”

“Energy companies remain free to charge whatever they think they can get away with, at the expense of disengaged or confused customers. This has to change.”

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Ahead of today’s debate Penrose has met with business secretary Greg Clark to discuss his plans.

“The House of Commons has a huge opportunity on Thursday to give the [Clark] a mandate to implement a relative price cap in order to protect energy consumers,” Penrose said.

The Tory MP will be joined in leading the debate by Labour MP Caroline Flint and SNP MP Patricia Gibson.

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