Consumers are one step closer to cheaper energy bills as legislation to cap poor value energy tariffs has completed its passage through Parliament.
Alongside this, the government has announced its flagship energy efficiency scheme will help support more low income and vulnerable consumers.
The Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill will put in place a requirement on the energy regulator, Ofgem, to cap standard variable and default energy tariffs.
The cap will tackle the amount consumers have been overpaying the Big Six energy suppliers, which the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found to be an average of £1.4 billion a year. Some consumers could save up to £350 a year on gas and electricity bills by switching suppliers.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: "For far too long older people, hard-working families and those on low incomes have been subject to rip-off energy tariffs. Our energy price cap will protect households from unfair price rises in time for this winter when people can feel the pinch more acutely. We know that the cost of living is still a challenge for some families and today marks an important step in helping people to keep more money in their pockets".
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: "This Bill, which delivers on our manifesto promise, is a necessary intervention to protect millions of energy customers who have been stuck on poor value deals and hit by unjustified price rises for far too long. Switching will always save people money, but that doesn’t mean that customers should be punished for their loyalty".
The government also announced today that its flagship £6 billion home energy efficiency scheme will be entirely focused on upgrading over 1 million low income and vulnerable households for the next 3 and a half years.
The Energy Company Obligation scheme, which requires energy companies to supply heating and energy efficiency measures, will be entirely focused on households in or at risk of fuel poverty while being expanded so that more companies will be included.
Today’s announcements are part of a package of measures designed to deliver the government’s objective of clean, affordable and innovative energy, while tackling fuel poverty, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy. This includes the rollout of smart meters and initiatives to promote smarter and faster switching which can also help save households money.