Tackling rip-off energy bills - Labour will freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017
The energy market just isn't working for families and businesses in Britain. Energy bills have risen by almost £300 since David Cameron became Prime Minister, and businesses say energy is the biggest cost they face. When wholesale energy prices go up, bills go up fast, but when they fall, bills stay high.
One of the reasons for this is that the Big Six energy firms are operating in a broken market. They generate the electricity, they sell it to themselves and then they sell it to consumers. Meanwhile, Ofgem, the regulator that's supposed to be responsible for putting things right has failed to stand up for consumers.
We need change but David Cameron has shown he will not stand up to the Big Six energy firms. He has stood by while bills have soared.
Since 2010, energy bills in Britain have risen twice as fast as inflation, four times faster than wages and faster than in almost any other country in the developed world. Families and businesses can't afford another five years of this.
Labour will act to get gas and electricity bills down and fix the broken energy market.
- We will freeze your energy bills up to January 2017, saving a typical household £120 and an average business £1,800. An incoming Labour government will legislate immediately to make this happen.
- We will fix the broken energy market, increasing competition and transparency so that it works for consumers. This will include introducing a simple new tariff structure so that people can compare prices in place of the complex and confusing system that exists today.
- We will abolish Ofgem which has failed to stand up for consumers, and replace it from January 2017 with a tough new energy watchdog. The new regulator will have the power and remit to force energy companies to cut their prices when there is evidence of overcharging, for example when wholesale costs fall and the market fails to respond.
- We will give the new regulator the power to revoke energy companies’ licences when they harm the interests of consumers.
We will unlock investment in clean energy by setting a firm 2030 decarbonisation target and giving the Green Investment Bank more powers.