Ofgem’s decision to relax the fuel price cap is disastrous for the fuel poor.
The competitive energy market in this country is fundamentally broken. It does not work for consumers or adequately address the climate emergency. This market failure is felt most acutely by the fuel poor.
Energy saving solutions
Ofgem says that relaxing the price cap is necessary to address bad consumer debt. The increase in bad debt as more people are thrown into fuel poverty is itself an indicator of the inadequacy of policy and regulation to address the growing fuel poverty crisis.
But the worst news is that the price cap relaxation will particularly impact two groups of consumers – those on standard tariffs, and those on pre-payment meters – i.e. the fuel poor. It’s insulting of Ofgem to say that consumers can “shop around”. We need massive investment in energy saving measures in all homes in this country, as the most sustainable way to tackle fuel poverty and climate change. The fuel poor must not be left behind, as usually happens.
It’s a double whammy for the fuel poor. They are the most likely to be impacted by rising fuel prices, and the least likely to get the energy saving measures that they need.