Electricity: Prices

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 1st March 2010.

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Photo of Peter Viggers Peter Viggers Conservative, Gosport

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what obligation electricity suppliers have to customers in respect of price when supplying electricity under Tariff B.

Photo of David Kidney David Kidney Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Setting of prices, including the level of differential between peak and off-peak charges on an Economy 7 type tariff, is a commercial decision for the company concerned. It is for Ofgem to consider whether pricing is appropriate, and it can take action if it decides that it is not.

Gas and electricity suppliers currently have up to 65 working days to notify their customers that a price increase has taken place. We think it is unacceptable for customers to be informed of price rises so late. Ofgem has committed to consulting on the matter before Easter. We have also amended the Energy Bill during its passage through the House of Commons to include powers for the Government to set the period within which energy companies must inform customers of changes to their tariffs should Ofgem be unable to address the issue in a timely fashion.

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