MPs’ energy price cap freeze call with “outrageous” rise on the way

MP ALEXANDER Stafford said customers should not be paying for the errors and mistakes of “cowboy energy companies” as price increases loom large within weeks.

The Rother Valley MP who is also a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee  has called for energy companies to freeze their energy standing charges ahead of an expected “outrageous rise” in April.

The issue united MPs across the political divide as Wentworth & Dearne MP John Healey demanded action on the price hikes he said would leave householders to “bear the brunt of a crisis that they did not cause”.

Mr Stafford said families would be hit hard by another “extra burden” if the price cap is increased.  

“We’re all used to paying a standing charge on our energy bills,” he said.  

“However, it is simply outrageous to hike people’s standing charges without a full explanation of why households are having to find this extra cash.

“Any increase is an extra burden that hard-pressed families can barely afford.

“Energy companies surely have a duty to say to their customers why standing charges have risen on average by £80 since last March.

“If this is to pay for the cost of coping with the collapse of other energy firms, they should come clean and say so.

“People shouldn’t have to be paying the costs of these cowboy companies that went under due to playing fast and loose with other people’s accounts.

“I will do all I can to find out what can be done to freeze standing charge price rises, and will pursue this further with my colleagues.”

Mr Healey said Labour would invest in clean power and retrofit housing, which would bring savings to be funded through a one-off windfall tax on energy giants.

He also demanded an end to “scandalous” penalties being imposed on prepayment meter customers.

He added: “Some households across Rotherham and Barnsley are still looking at an increase of around 40 per cent to their energy bills in April while energy companies continue to pull in record profits.

“Working people shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of a crisis that they did not cause.”

 

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