Chief executives of the UK’s largest suppliers have called for the energy price cap to be abolished and for a new system to take the price burden away from the most vulnerable households ahead of next winter.
The chief executives told MPs investigating energy prices that while pre-payment customers were already reeling from the effects of rising bills, they expected the numbers in financial distress to only increase as time goes on ahead of another expected leap in the energy price cap from October.
The cap rose by a record £693 per year on average in April – with pre-payment customers, who tend to be among the most vulnerable, facing an even larger increase.
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee heard ScottishPower chief executive Keith Anderson call for the cap system – blamed for the failure of dozens of competitors as they were unable to pass on huge rises in raw energy costs – to be scrapped in favour of a social tariff that would see the better off pay more.
He also suggested that, in the interim, a deficit fund should be established to allow people deemed struggling to be given 10 years to pay off £1,000 on their bills.