Tory MP behind the party's energy cap brands Ofgem measures a "stitch up"

 
Helen Cahill
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Ofgem published possible reforms for the energy market this morning (Source: Getty)

The Tory MP behind the party's promise of an energy price cap has called new proposals to protect consumers a "stitch up".

Today, energy watchdog Ofgem unveiled plans to "protect vulnerable consumers" with a "safeguard tariff".

Read more: New energy price cap on the cards under proposals from watchdog

But John Penrose MP, a leading proponent for an energy cap in the Conservative party, said that the plan will help fewer than three million energy customers.

The Conservative manifesto promised to put a price cap on the energy bills of 17m families, but the pledge was not included in the Queen's Speech.

Penrose said: "The remaining 14m will see their energy bills rise as energy companies recoup the cost of the [Ofgem] cap by milking the rest of us.

"This is a big six stitch up and as Ofgem won't help, parliament needs to step in and legislate instead."

There has been mounting pressure for change in the energy market after the Competition and Markets Authority published an investigation last year which found consumers are paying £1.4bn more than they would be if the market were fully competitive.

Today, Ofgem published a number of proposals aside from a cap, including:

  • Rule changes for price comparison websites so it's easier for customers to change energy suppliers
  • Trial of a new ‘Check Your Energy Deal’ online switching service to help customers who have been on poor value standard variable tariffs for three years or more
  • A separate trial in which Ogem will test whether writing to customers about cheaper offers from rivals prompts them to research cheaper options and change supplier.

Read more: Brexit gives the UK's energy sector a chance to rethink energy policy

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