This week saw the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) set out proposals to cap energy prices for prepayment customers. This is a huge step forward for my #PrePayRipOff campaign and I am encouraged by parts of the CMA’s proposals. This report has been a long time coming.
I welcome that the CMA have heard my call, and that of the thousands of people who have signed my petition, calling on the Government to take urgent action to protect prepayment meter users - the most vulnerable consumers in the energy market – whom the CMA found are paying on average £300 a year more than direct debit customers for their energy.
I believe the Prime Minister must keep the promise he made in Prime Minister’s Question Time on the 17th October 2012 where he said:
‘We will be legislating so that energy companies have to give the lowest tariff to their customers’
I urge the Prime Minister to follow up his words with actions.
The safeguard tariff the CMA propose will go some way to redressing the unfairness of prepay meters however because of the Prime Minister’s broken promises after 2020 the poorest and most vulnerable might again be subjected to unfair and high pricing.
I believe that to get a fairer energy market we must ensure three things:
Protect the consumer
Prioritise smart meters and prepay consumers
Simplify the market
Furthermore, I believe CMA proposals to give energy companies’ customer data so suppliers may contact rival customers is wrought with issues. I’m not sure this is the solution or the problem.
The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, must now ensure energy companies’ press ahead with these proposals as soon as possible. Indeed, over 11,287 of her own constituents are on prepay meters costing her local economy in Hastings and Rye a staggering £3,386,100 a year.
I will continue to fight the energy companies for fairer prepayment prices and will be a thorn in the Government’s side on this issue until we end this prepay rip off. They can, and must, do more.
And listen to me speaking to Clive Bull on LBC after the report was released on Thursday here: