Martin Lewis has apologised for “losing his rag” during a furious rant to Ofgem over proposed changes to the energy sector.
The founder of Money Saving Expert erupted into a sweary tirade during a briefing to the media, describing the regulator’s plan to raise stabilisation charges as a “f*****g disgrace that sells consumers down the river”.
In a Twitter thread, he said: “I should’ve behaved better. My ire’s institutional not individual, its was inappropriate.”
Ofgem announced earlier today that it had launched a ‘minded-to’ consultation looking into whether the price cap should be updated quarterly rather than twice a year.
It argues the measure could ensure energy bills reflect market conditions and ensure prices go down as soon as possible.
While this announcement has attracted criticism, with gloomy forecasts of a price hike in January next year during the peak of winter if the measure is pushed through, Lewis’ ire was primarily directed towards stabilisation charges.
These are the levies currently being imposed on firms for luring customers to their business – previously known as ‘switching’.
Ofgem’s intention is to prevent suppliers losing out from hedging long-term for a customer, and to encourage a market less dependent on churning customers from one firm to another.
As it stands, a supplier must pay 85 per cent of difference to the old firm.
Lewis described this as “killing hopes of firms launching cheaper deals.”
He did also criticise the proposed price reforms, noting that the upcoming three-monthly cap has been “carefully calibrated” to include six months of wholesale prices.
Even if the price cap is turned into a three-month mechanism by October, it will be according to six months of market behaviour, with a two-month implementation period still in place.
This includes gas prices in March , when benchmarks spiked to record highs of £8 per therm, following US and UK energy sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He tweeted: “I lost it when getting a briefing about today’s proposals, where it feels like at every turn, in these desperate times where lives are at risk, it has ignored all asks for consumers and instead kowtowed to the industry (I hope history proves me wrong).”
Lewis said he feared “dire consequences for consumers”, and warned that “we must do more to make things better than them”.