Published: 17:42, 19 April 2017 | Updated: 18:32, 19 April 2017
Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The Business Secretary has pledged ‘muscular and strong’ Government action over ‘flagrant mistreatment’ of energy customers following price hikes across the board.
Greg Clark told MPs he planned to take decisive action against energy companies, although he did not give a date for a crack down.
Addressing the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, he said a two-year investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority had identified consumer detriment averaging £1.2 billion a year.
He said: ‘We are not going to simply note the findings. I think there is an overwhelming appetite to sort this problem out once and for all.’
Mr Clark said he was disappointed with the response from the energy companies, which have come under attack for raising prices.
The Business and Energy Secretary added: ‘If the competitors in this industry don’t see this as behaviour that is damaging consumers, I do – and I will act. The response will be muscular and strong and will apply to all of the companies who are disadvantaging consumers.’
Consumers have seen price hikes in their energy bills in recent months and the government has pledged a crackdown. Stock image
Mr Clark said the poorest households spent the most on energy but were least likely to switch to another supplier.
‘I don’t think it is acceptable that they should be exploited in that way.’
Committee chairman Iain Wright asked the minister why he had not acted already, referring to a price increase announced last week by EDF.
Mr Clark maintained there was no delay, although he conceded that the market was not working.
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