MPs have approved a new price cap for energy bills in the UK – but only a tiny fraction realise that bills and demand are actually falling. Average energy bills fell by £6 last year, according to a new report from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), with energy efficiency improvements more than offsetting price rises from suppliers. The unadjusted drop was £36. But an accompanying survey of 100 MPs also released today from ECIU reveals that just one per cent of MPs are aware that energy bills and energy demand are going down. Nearly two-thirds mistakenly believe bills are rising. Last month MPs approved new legislation that will see an energy price cap introduced on domestic gas and electricity bills in December. ECIU’s finding that average household energy bills are falling is backed up by analysis from the Committee on Climate Change, which last year found that ‘dual fuel’ bills had fallen in real terms by around £115 since the Climate Change Act was passed in 2008. The survey also found that 73 per cent of MPs back government support for energy efficiency measures such as loft insulation, while 55 per cent think homes should be built to a zero carbon standard – a policy dropped by the Conservative government in 2015.
Business Green 2nd Aug 2018 read more »
The energy regulator is likely to have to increase its cap on prices for vulnerable households by about £50 a year, analysts have forecast. Five million households are likely to see their bills rise as suppliers are expected to increase their tariffs to the maximum allowed. Ofgem, which has already raised the cap by £57 a year in April, is due to update its level on Tuesday. It is understood to be preparing to announce another increase because of rising wholesale gas and electricity costs. Such a move would be politically awkward as the government prepares to introduce a similar cap for a further 11 million households under a policy Theresa May claimed would prevent “sudden and unexpected and significant hikes in prices”. Ofgem first introduced its cap in April last year after the competition watchdog found that customers with pre-payment meters, who are more likely to be vulnerable, were getting especially bad deals. It now covers about four million households that pay by pre-payment meter and a further million identified as vulnerable.
Times 3rd Aug 2018 read more »