Ofgem, the energy regulator for Great Britain, announced the latest energy price cap, rising to £3,549 between October and December. To counter that, the UK Greens request an immediate government intervention to assure affordable charges, going back to the October 2021 price cap.
Carla Denyer, Green Party co-leader, argued:
“This latest rise in the price cap is a horrifying blow to households across the country and a reminder of just how broken our energy system is.
Without proper intervention, people are going to die as a result of these unaffordable energy prices. Yet the government continues to sit on its hands, offering no help and no reassurance to the millions of people who are wondering how they are going to survive this winter”.
For Denyer, only the government can make an intervention of the scale and speed required. The UK Greens co-leader emphasizes that it is the administration who should absorb the global rate rises “by taxing the huge profits of the oil and gas companies”.
The ABC on price caps and unpredictable gas bills
UK, and the whole world, is seeing a once in a 30-year event with volatile gas prices. Ofgem described the factors directly influencing the new increase in energy expenses:
- Increase of 180%: The price for gas has more than doubled since their last price cap announcement in February 2022.
- Increase of 235%: The electricity price has more than tripled over the same time.
Jonathan Brearly, CEO of Ofgem, explained:
“The price of energy has reached record levels driven by an aggressive economic act by the Russian state. They have slowly and deliberately turned off the gas supplies to Europe causing harm to our households, businesses and wider economy. Ofgem has no choice but to reflect these cost increases in the price cap.”
The underlying reason of this energy crisis is that when a supplier exits the market, the market absorbs the costs, passing the costs onto all energy consumers. In Great Britain since January last year, 29 suppliers (serving more than 4 million households) have exited the market.
The Greens solution: Bring energy back to public ownership and focus on renewables
One of the latest Green Party demands is to bring energy companies back into public ownership to stabilize the market.
The party thinks the government should also concentrate on small businesses and public services, struggling with the sharply rising energy costs.
“Renewables are the cheapest form of energy, and the cheapest bill of all is the one you don’t have to pay because your home is well insulated and efficient. So, the way forward is clear – a nationwide home insulation scheme and large-scale investment in renewable energy. The longer the government delays on this, the longer it will put the UK at the mercy of volatile energy prices and climate damaging fossil fuels.”Carla Denyer