'Britain’s “broken” energy market must be fixed by introducing an energy price cap before next winter to stop loyal customers being ripped off by suppliers, MPs said on Tuesday.
Competition in the sector is not working for 12 million customers stuck on poor-value tariffs, said MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee.
Responding to the Government’s draft energy bill, the committee said that the big six gas and electricity companies have brought the introduction of the price cap on themselves.
They hiked prices last year and have overcharged their customers on standard variable tariffs (SVTs) for years, the committee said in a new report.
SVTs are default deals that customers are moved onto after their initial tariff expires.
The committee’s report decries the UK’s “two-tier” energy market in which some consumers – often those who are vulnerable – pay up to £300 more than others each year.
“Energy is an essential good and yet millions of customers are ripped off for staying loyal to their energy provider, said BEIS committee chair Rachel Reeves.
“An energy price cap is now necessary and the Government must act urgently to ensure it is in place to protect customers next winter.
“The big six energy companies might whine and wail about the introduction of a price cap but they’ve been overcharging their customers on default and SVTs for years and their recent feeble efforts to move consumers off these tariffs have only served to highlight the need for this intervention.”'
Read more: Energy price cap needed before next winter to protect UK customers from 'rip-off' tariffs, say MPs
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