A former shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change has called on the Government to agree to an immediate rebate for overcharging on energy prices.
Labour’s Caroline Flint (Don Valley) raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions and urged the Government to commit to an energy price cap for households on the most expensive tariffs.
First Secretary of State Damian Green, who stood in for Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions, maintained the Queen’s Speech contained measures “to help tackle unfair practices in the energy market to help reduce energy bills”.
Ms Flint’s question came as Britain’s energy watchdog warned gas and electricity network companies to expect tougher price controls amid claims they are exploiting consumers to take £7.5 billion in “unjustified” profits.
Ofgem told the companies to brace themselves for a tougher regime from 2021 and said investors in these firms must prepare for lower returns as it pledged to deliver “even better value for customers”.
Speaking in the Commons, Ms Flint said: “Isn’t today’s report that National Grid made £3 billion pounds profit in 2015/16 at the expense of households further evidence that the Government is not delivering fair energy prices?
“Will the Government agree to an immediate rebate for overcharging and will the Government now commit to an energy price cap for the … households on the most expensive tariffs?”
Mr Green replied: “She is right to identify the issue of energy prices and I’m sure she will welcome the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the Government will ensure fairer markets for consumers and that this will include bringing forward measures to help tackle unfair practices in the energy market to help reduce energy bills.
“I’m sure this is an issue on which we can work across the House together.”