MP calling for energy price caps as bad tariffs 'spell trouble' for Weston-super-Mare

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 March 2017

Many older people have high energy bills.

Many older people have high energy bills.


Weston-super-Mare's MP will call on the Government to put a price cap on energy prices, as he warns the town's vulnerable and elderly people are being 'ripped off' by the big gas and electricity companies.

John Penrose will today (Thursday) lead a debate in the House of Commons against the prices energy companies charge customers who do not switch tariffs.

Mr Penrose told the Mercury: “Most industries believe loyalty should be rewarded, not exploited. But not the big energy firms.

“Two thirds of Westonians are probably on a standard variable tariff, which is what we all pay if we haven’t switched our supplier recently, and that means we’re paying way more than we should be.

“Even worse, vulnerable and elderly customers are more likely to be on these bad tariffs than anyone else. Which, for a retirement town like Weston, spells trouble.”

John Penrose.John Penrose.

It is estimated more than 9,000 homes in North Somerset are in fuel poverty, where families are forced to choose between food and heating.

Mr Penrose will tell the Commons the energy regulator Ofgem must ban companies from charging standard variable tariff customers more than six per cent above their most competitive rates.

He added: “Loyal customers are being systematically ripped off by big energy firms, and it’s just not fair. Most industries don’t exploit their best customers like this, by quietly switching them onto expensive default tariffs when their existing deal comes to an end.

“I’ve received support from MPs from all political parties and if we pass the motion on Thursday, the House of Commons will have given a mandate to the Government to implement a relative price cap in order to protect the most vulnerable energy consumers.”

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