Tag Archives: Ofgem

Loyal Energy Customers To Pay Fair Price From Now

Around 11 million households who have stayed loyal to energy suppliers on poor value energy tariffs will pay a fair price from today (1 January 2019) thanks to the government’s price cap.

The cap will bring down the amount consumers have been overpaying to energy companies, including the Big Six, by £1 billion a year, starting this winter when households are typically using more energy to heat and light their homes. It will remain in place until at least 2020, while energy suppliers and industry continue to work with the energy regulator Ofgem and the government to build an energy market that works better for all consumers.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Our energy price cap will cut bills for millions of families and people across the UK who have been ripped off by energy companies for far too long. From today, money will go straight back into the pockets of loyal consumers, including the elderly and those on lower incomes who feel the pinch more acutely.

But work to tackle this issue doesn’t stop there. We’re working with regulators and industry to ensure that consumers are not unfairly overcharged in the future – whether on their phone bills or their insurance premiums.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said:

Today marks the end of unjustified price rises on energy bills as this government delivers on time on its promise to protect millions of households from poor value deals, especially the vulnerable.

For too long, suppliers have failed to pass on any savings to their customers, who deserve to pay a fair price for their gas and electricity. Switching supplier is still the best way to find a better deal, but that doesn’t mean customers should be punished for their loyalty.

Bill payers can now be confident that any change to the price cap will be a fair representation of the actual costs of energy, rather than suppliers passing on inefficiencies to their customers or as excess profits.

Following a consultation, Ofgem set the price cap level at £1,137 per year for a typical dual fuel customer paying by direct debit. The amount customers will pay depends on how much energy they actually use, as the price cap sets a limit on how much suppliers can charge per unit of gas and electricity not on overall energy bills.

The cap will also protect around one million households who receive the Warm Home Discount currently protected by Ofgem’s safeguard tariff. Ofgem already caps energy prices through its safeguard tariff for 4 million households on pre-payment meters.

Ofgem will review the level of the cap every 6 months taking into account any changes to the actual costs of providing gas and electricity to energy customers. The first review will take place in early February coming into effect on 1 April 2019.

Dermot Nolan, chief executive at Ofgem, said:

Under the cap, Ofgem will protect consumers from being overcharged and ensure they pay a fair price to heat and light their homes. Consumers can have confidence that any rise in prices in the future will only be down to genuine increases in energy costs rather than supplier profiteering while falls in energy costs will always be passed on to them.

Households who are protected by the cap will be able to save even more money by shopping around for a better deal. In the meantime Ofgem will continue with reforms which aim to deliver a smarter, more competitive energy market which, combined with protection for those who need it, works for all consumers.

The Domestic Gas and Electricity Act, which passed Parliamentary scrutiny and became law on 19 July 2018, put in place a requirement on Ofgem to cap standard variable and default energy tariffs after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found consumers had been overpaying the Big Six an average of £1.4 billion a year.

While the temporary cap is in place, energy suppliers and industry will continue to work with Ofgem and government to build an energy market that works better for all consumers, ensuring they get the best service for a fair price so that everyone reaps the benefits of the move to a smarter, more digital economy.

Other measures designed to deliver the government’s objective of clean, affordable and innovative energy, while tackling fuel poverty, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy include:

  • the rollout of smart meters
  • initiatives to promote smarter and faster switching
  • a joint review with Ofgem on the future of the retail market

 

 

Getting Smart Energy Technology Into Homes And Businesses

As part of the Industrial Strategy the Government and Ofgem set out plans to upgrade the energy system, putting consumers in control.  Here is the plans for smart energy :-

A plan to give homes and businesses more control over their energy use and support innovative new technologies, as part of the Industrial Strategy, was set out by Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark today (24 July 2017).

The innovative plan will transform how homes and businesses store and use energy. It will deliver a smarter, more flexible energy system by removing barriers to smart and battery technology, reducing costs for consumers. The report, ‘Upgrading our energy system’ describes how the UK energy system is changing and how it can ensure economic benefits for businesses and households. Over a quarter of the UK’s electricity is being generated through renewables such as wind and solar, much of it located close to homes and businesses. New technologies that help store and manage energy are emerging and the costs are falling.

These changes provide an opportunity to create new businesses and jobs in the UK. At the same time new smart technologies like smart meters – and appliances you can control from your mobile phone – along with other improvements to manage the energy system will help the country save up to £40 billion on energy costs over decades to come.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

Upgrading our energy system to make sure it is fit for the future is a key part of our Industrial Strategy. A smarter energy system will create opportunities to reduce energy costs, increase productivity and put UK businesses in a leading position to export smart energy technology and services to the rest of the world.

By rolling out smart meters, enabling suppliers to offer lower tariffs and making it easier for firms to develop smart appliances and gadgets, the plan will help consumers use energy when it is cheapest or get rewarded for returning it to the grid when it is needed.



The plan also recognises the role that energy storage can play in a smart energy grid and the opportunities presented by falling costs of battery technologies designed to store surplus energy. To allow industry to exploit these new technologies government and Ofgem have committed to removing barriers to the introduction of this technology into our power network.

Andrew Wright, Senior Partner, Energy Systems, Ofgem, said:

The way we are generating and using energy in Britain is changing rapidly. Today’s plan sets out how Ofgem, government and the industry will work together to modernise the energy system and make sure consumers get the benefits of the changes.

We want to open the door to new technologies and services so that they can help to reduce bills for consumers in the long term. It is vital that we get the changes in place as there is potential for a smarter system to save consumers billions between now and 2050.

The plan will also make it easier for new businesses to help customers that are interested in reducing, or increasing, their energy use at certain times, which can help balance the calls on the electricity network.

As part of the Industrial Strategy, the government has committed to modernising the UK’s energy system and developing a business environment where new entrants to the market can compete. This will also allow industry to develop innovative new products and services, creating thousands of jobs.

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said:

Upgrading our energy systems is vital if we are to have clean, affordable and secure supply for the long-term and meet our targets for reducing carbon emissions.

This plan is a clear step forward, and was one of the 12 key infrastructure decisions we said needed to be made as a matter of urgency. I’m particularly pleased that many of the 29 points listed today directly follow recommendations in our Smart Power report.

Our study demonstrated the revolution our energy sector is going through, and the real benefits we can get from that in terms of greater efficiency, flexibility and value for money for customers. The measures announced today will lead to exciting innovations in the industry to help make that happen.

The full implementation of the plan to move to a smarter energy system alongside other changes could help save the country up to £40 billion over the coming decades, according to research conducted for BEIS by Imperial College and the Carbon Trust..

Case study

British company Moixa offers residential battery systems which can help manage energy demands across the electricity network, make better use of energy generated by rooftop solar panels, and enable suppliers to reward consumers who charge their batteries during periods of low demand, when prices are lower. These systems have been deployed in nearly 1,000 homes across the UK, and Moixa calculate that they could help consumers save up to 60% on their electricity bills.

Simon Daniel, CEO of Moixa Energy Holdings said:

Moixa welcomes this plan which recognises the central importance of energy storage in upgrading the UK Energy System – and the potential to save £40 billion off future customer bills. The regulatory improvements proposed and Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will help storage providers like Moixa participate better in energy markets, and enable our Utility partners to deliver smart tariffs to customers. The actions will make the UK a global leader for new smart technologies and accelerate the transition to a cost-effective, resilient and low carbon energy system.