A former vice president of BP has said the latest price cap should be suspended and called for taxes to be increased on oil producers if they are not facing “real costs”.
Nick Butler, who worked for BP for more than 30 years, said he did not think the Ofgem cap should have been announced with no “modification or mitigation”.
On Friday, Ofgem confirmed an 80.06% rise in the energy price cap, sending the average household’s yearly bill from £1,971 to £3,549 from October.
Speaking to BBC Scotland’s The Seven, Mr Butler said: “They are going to have to put a lot of money to cover the costs of this so that they don’t fall on ordinary people.”
Mr Butler said he would like to see a cost breakdown of every company in the industry to see if increases were justifiable.
He added: “I don’t think the cost of producing nuclear or renewable have risen in any way comparable to the increases in natural gas.
“The Government, with the companies, should be making sure we have proper supplies for the winter and putting in some storage.
“Storage is a way to protect our consumers against volatility.”
He was asked if energy producers such as BP should face a tax hike, to which Mr Butler said: “Yes – if they can’t show they are facing real costs in bringing the supplies in.
“If those costs are genuine, and in some cases I think they are, then they are not making windfall profits.
“But other people I think are milking the system and that’s why I absolutely believe this has got to be made a transparent market, and the good companies will welcome that transparency because it will restore an element of the trust that has been lost.”
On Friday, campaigners gathered on Albion Street in Glasgow at Ofgem’s Scottish office in protest at the increase.
Some of them burned energy bills outside, chanting “What do we want? Price freeze! When do we want it? Now!”
— Coll McCail (@MccailColl) August 26, 2022
Speaking at the demonstration, Glasgow councillor Matt Kerr said: “There is something, obviously, that the UK Government must do.
“It must absolutely intervene immediately in this utter market failure.
“You don’t need to want to nationalise it all to know that this is wrong.
“This is an absolute necessity of life and it cannot be left to the whims of the market.”
Trade unionists also held demonstrations in support of striking postal workers and council cleansing workers at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on Buchanan Street earlier on Friday.