West Midlands MEP James Carver is urging the region’s MPs to support cross-party calls for the Prime Minister to keep her manifesto promise to cap the price of gas and electricity to stop energy companies “ripping off” customers.
A recent report by the Competition and Markets Authority found customers had paid £1.4bn a year in “excessive prices” between 2012 and 2015.
Two thirds of those were on standard variable rates and they had paid 11 per cent more for their electricity and 15 per cent more for their gas than customers on other tariffs.
Mr Carver, from UKIP, said a major issue was that when lower tariff periods come to an end, customers are “quietly” switched to the default more expensive standard variable rates.
“This is deplorable behaviour by the big six energy companies – customers should be rewarded for their loyalty, not exploited,” he said, adding:
“There are fears that a relative price cap could stifle competition and lead to higher average prices by suppliers levelling up their prices by removing or repricing cheaper fixed deals, but that is another reason why the whole pricing structure in this sector should be regulated.
“I urge the region’s MPs to speak out in Westminster and lobby for a relative price cap to be introduced sooner rather than later to protect our constituents, many of whom are being overcharged and are struggling to cope with large energy bills.”