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Electricity: Prices

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department is taking to reduce the cost of electricity to consumers.

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Energy policy is largely devolved to Northern Ireland, including energy price regulation. Across the island of Ireland the Single Electricity Market (SEM) is designed to put downward pressure on consumer electricity prices, facilitate the integration of renewables and provide continued security of supply.

The Government is committed to ensuring fair energy prices for consumers and has a range of policies in Great Britain. The Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Act requires the energy regulator to cap standard variable and default energy tariffs. Ofgem estimate this could save consumers around £75-100 per year.

There are around 60 domestic suppliers in the GB energy market with a range of innovative tariffs for consumers to choose from. Switching in early 2019 hit historic highs, with the total number of domestic switches in the 12 months up to July 2019 was 10% higher than over the same period last year. In August 2019, customers could save up to £408 a year by switching.

Over 2 million low income and vulnerable households receive £140 off their electricity bills each winter through the Warm Home Discount.

Improving the energy efficiency of a home is the best way of reducing energy bills for the long-term. Since 2013, over 2 million homes, including those with electric heating, have had their energy efficiency improved under the Energy Company Obligation.

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