Domestic Energy Price Cap

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th September 2017.

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Photo of John Penrose John Penrose Conservative, Weston-Super-Mare 12:00 am, 12th September 2017

Whether Ofgem is able to implement a domestic energy price cap within its present powers.

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Ofgem has extensive powers that would allow it to establish a cap on household energy prices that cause consumer detriment. The Competition and Markets Authority identified a consumer detriment averaging £1.4 billion a year, which I expect Ofgem to take measures to eradicate.

Photo of John Penrose John Penrose Conservative, Weston-Super-Mare

I thank the Secretary of State for that clarification. Is it not pathetic of Ofgem to ask the Government to pass a law ordering it to impose an energy price cap when, as he says, it has the legal powers to do that already? Does that not show that Ofgem is miserably failing to stick up for energy customers? Will he therefore push Ofgem to grow a spine and introduce a cap without delay?

Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Ofgem has yet to respond to my request. I have the power to oblige Ofgem to put a cap in place. Doing that would seem excessive, and it would require primary legislation. Ofgem has those powers, so there is no need for that. That is why, faced with this huge detriment of £1.4 billion on average, I believe it is essential that Ofgem uses the powers that Parliament has given it to eradicate the detriment.