Patricia Gibson MP, SNP Consumer Affairs Spokesperson, calls for energy market action as shocking figures calculated by Octopus Energy show people in North Ayrshire & Arran are over-paying £5.5 million per year on their energy bills.
Horrified by the extent to which the energy market is failing energy customers, a cross-party group of MPs has written to the Government urging it to make sure all consumers benefit from fair energy prices, following a Commons debate on this issue in early March, co-sponsored by Patricia Gibson MP.
All the main parliamentary parties called for a price cap in their manifestos, but current government plans would only target a fraction of those on rip-off tariffs, causing cross-party outrage amongst MPs.
An inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority found that energy customers were paying on average £1.4 billion a year more than would be the case in a competitive market. During the General Election, Prime Minister Theresa May pledged action to help all 17 million customers on ‘standard variable tariffs’ who pay the highest prices for their energy.
Commenting on the fact that customers in North Ayrshire & Arran are being ripped off, Patricia Gibson said: “It’s outrageous that the Big Six energy companies are getting away with overcharging the people of North Ayrshire & Arran.
“Much more needs to be done to protect those who are struggling to pay their energy bills that are significantly more expensive than they would be in a competitive market
We need to see the government take strong, swift action to bring real competition to the energy market and end the Big Six’s predatory pricing.
“Only a ‘relative price cap’ in which a company’s Standard Variable Tariff is pegged to a maximum percentage above its best deal would create the real price transparency needed to harness competition for the benefit of all consumers.”