British energy bills can rise by $151 a year: regulator

Author: 
Reuters
ID: 
1549525830509046900
Thu, 2019-02-07 07:31

Britain’s regulator said energy suppliers could increase
consumer bills by 117 pounds ($151) a year from April 1 as it
announced an increase in its annual price cap on Thursday, due to
rising wholesale costs.
Ofgem was tasked by parliament to set a limit after lawmakers said
customers were being overcharged for electricity and gas. Prime
Minister Theresa May had called the tariffs a “rip-off.”
Ofgem said it needed to allow suppliers to charge more as wholesale
energy contracts, used to help formulate the cap level, were 17
percent higher than during the last cap period.
“We can assure these customers… that these increases are only
due to actual rises in energy costs, rather than excess charges
from supplier profiteering,” Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan
said.
The cap for average annual consumption will rise to 1,254 pounds
from 1,137 pounds for customers on the most commonly used
tariffs.
Ofgem calculates the cap using a formula that includes wholesale
gas prices, energy suppliers network costs and costs of government
policies, such as renewable power subsidies.
Several of Britain’s biggest suppliers, a group known as the
“Big Six,” complained that the cap was initially set too
low.
Most are expected to increase prices once it is raised. The big six
energy suppliers are Centrica’s British Gas, SSE, Iberdrola’s
Scottish Power, Innogy’s npower, E.ON and EDF Energy.

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British energy bills can rise by 1 a year: regulator