Britain's May says will introduce energy cap if re-elected

Britain's May says will introduce energy cap if re-elected

The MPs are not breaking cover with direct criticism during the election campaign, but some are openly pushing for a more "relative" cap - which would link standard tariffs to the cheapest deals by capping the differential between the highest and lowest price an energy company can charge.

The energy cap will be a key "retail offer" in the Conservative election manifesto, to be published next week.

Apart from British Gas, five of Britain's "Big Six" energy providers have all hiked prices over the past four months and all said increases in wholesale energy costs and rises in the cost of delivering Government policies, such as smart metering, renewables obligation and the capacity market, had an impact on their decision.

The move has already attracted fierce criticism from Labour, which proposed to freeze energy prices in the lead-up to the 2015 General Election.

The Liberal Democrats' Ed Davey said: "It is never a good idea to copy the economic strategy of Ed Miliband".

A spokesman for German-owned E.ON said: "We are concerned that this intervention has been made for political reasons even though the energy market recently went through a comprehensive and independent two-year review by the Competition and Markets Authority".

Theresa May has decided that an energy cap fits her political goal and has confirmed she will wear it into this election campaign. First of all, we are Conservatives.

"Ed Miliband suggested a freeze on energy prices that would have frozen them so that people paying above the odds would have continued to pay above the odds and crucially the prices couldn't have gone down".

More news: May Day Protests: More Than 40 Arrests Made In Nationwide Marches

Elderly people, poor and disabled people are among those less likely to switch providers and therefore find themselves on overpriced rates as a result, which in turns boosts the providers' coffers.

Mr Clark said that the Competition and Markets Authority had found that the market was not sufficient competitive.

"Change is happening at a rapid pace in the energy sector, with ever-increasing levels of engagement, more choice and improving customer service", he said.

"The solution is not to distort the market as a whole but see through the market reforms, allow competition to drive innovation and benefits for customers, while ensuring that there is targeted support for those most in need".

"With a cap it would be very hard for the Big Six to generate the kind of profits they have been able to".

CAB Director of Policy and Advocacy James Plunkett commented in a blog: "From the sound of briefings, the plan could be a full cap on the Standard Variable Tariff, the energy deal that two thirds of Britain's households are on. With the Conservatives nearly certain to win a majority, it's highly likely the pledge will be carried out", he said. This measure is meant to save about 17 million customers up to £100 a year.

"This policy from the Conservatives, just as the policy from Ed Miliband, will not work".

And price comparison site uSwitch.com said it was a "red herring" which would "kill competition, push up energy prices and leave consumers worse off".

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