Centrica notes Ofgem’s statement this morning regarding extension of price protection for vulnerable customers and their intention to consult on and introduce further measures to improve the functioning of the UK Energy Supply Market.
We agree that more vulnerable customers should receive price protection, beyond those on pre-payment meters. This is in line with our own recent voluntary actions to protect an additional 200,000 customers for the whole of this winter.
There are more than 50 energy suppliers, and intense competition in the market and we agree more can be done to improve the functioning of the market, particularly regarding default tariffs and the nature of the Standard Variable Tariff. We therefore welcome Ofgem’s intention to change the default mechanism at the end of fixed contracts, and to permit different default tariffs other than the Standard Variable Tariff.
Centrica has been calling for changes to the regulations regarding the Standard Variable Tariff for over 2 years, and for a levelling of the playing field so that more suppliers are obliged to provide the “Warm Home Discount” and pay for the “Energy Company Obligation”.
Ofgem’s statement this morning and forthcoming short consultation is a step in the right direction. We now await details of the Government’s draft Bill and remain committed to acting to improve the functioning of the market for our customers.
Listen to our podcast to hear more of Iain Conn's views on retail market reform here.