Skip to main content

Campaigners repeat demands for nationalisation of energy utilities as tariff increases loom

Ofgem is preparing to raise the price cap for 15 million customers by about £150 a year, which is expected to push thousands more people into fuel poverty

CAMPAIGNERS repeated their demands today for the nationalisation of energy utilities following indications that Ofgem is set to allow suppliers to increase tariffs. 

The regulator is preparing to raise the price cap for 15 million customers by about £150 a year — a rise of 13 per cent — which is expected to push thousands more people into fuel poverty. 

The decision to ramp up costs, expected to be announced tomorrow, will be blamed on an increase in wholesale energy costs caused by the pandemic. 

The price cap was introduced in 2019 in a bid to tackle rip-off energy pricing and encourage households to switch to cheaper deals. 

But anti-privatisation campaigners argue that such “half-hearted” attempts to regulate the energy sector are ineffective and they renewed calls for it to be returned to public hands. 

We Own It director Cat Hobbs said: “Ofgem has failed time and again to keep prices fair and affordable for millions of families. 

“Their latest price cap hike will plunge thousands more into fuel poverty, after a year of financial hardship where families already have to decide between heating and eating. 

“It’s time to recognise that half-hearted attempts to regulate don’t work because profit will always be the priority for private companies. 

“The only way to get fair energy prices is to bring our energy into public ownership.”

Ms Hobbs highlighted the “insulting” pay of Ofgem’s top earners, noting that chief executive Jonathan Brearley raked in £300,000 in income and bonuses last year.

News of the expected rise came as a recent poll showed that 17 per cent of households have struggled to pay for energy over the past year, with a quarter saying that an increase of £10 on their bills could tip them into poverty. 

OWNED BY OUR READERS

We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 10,087
We need:£ 7,931
9 Days remaining
Donate today