Business Secretary to hold ’emergency’ meetings with energy sector executives

·2-min read

The Government will reportedly hold “emergency” meetings with energy industry bosses to address rapidly rising wholesale gas prices.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will meet with chief executives of major suppliers on Monday, according to The Times, which reports the bosses are likely to ask for tax cuts and the relaxation of green levies.

Mr Kwarteng, who is also the Energy Secretary, has already been talking to chief executives individually.

Fears of runaway household bills in the new year have been mounting since rising gas prices began bankrupting suppliers in September. Since then, prices have risen from 54p per therm of gas to £4.50.

Since 2019, energy suppliers in the UK have been subject to a price cap put in place by Ofgem, limiting the amount they can charge customers. With the rising prices, many say they were paying more for gas than they could charge.

The cap is moved twice a year based on the price of energy and is due to next be changed in April.

The regulator is already consulting on a series of proposals which would mean the biggest overhaul of the price cap since it was launched if implemented next year.

The suggestions could include forcing customers to stick with their energy supplier for six months if they are on a price-cap tariff.

This could add extra burdens to households, who might already be looking at a more than 50% increase in their bills from April.

Investment bank Investec believes that the price cap might be hiked from its current level of £1,277 – already a record – to £1,995.

It could be what is needed to keep the UK’s remaining energy suppliers in business.

Since the start of September more than two dozen companies have gone bust after being hit by a runaway gas price.

Many of those remaining will be forced to sell gas at a loss because of the price cap, at least until it changes in April.

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