UK government extends price cap on energy bills to end of 2021

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: The sun rises behind electricity pylons near Chester
FILE PHOTO: The sun rises behind electricity pylons near Chester

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government said on Monday it has extended its price cap on the most common form of gas and electricity tariffs for millions of UK households until the end of next year.

The cap was introduced in January 2019 to put a lid on standard variable tariffs, the basic rate that energy suppliers charge if a customer does not opt for a specific fixed-term deal. It had been due to expire at the end of this year.

The government said the move has so far saved customers around 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) a year, equivalent to around 75-100 pounds a year for typical households on default energy tariffs.

Under the extension, a total of around 11 million households across Britain will be protected from being overcharged on their energy, the government said.

"Switching energy supplier to find the best value deals is still the best way to save on bills, but this government is determined to make sure all customers are treated fairly and get the protection they deserve," said the government's business and energy Secretary Alok Sharma.

In August, the country's energy market regulator, Ofgem, recommended an extension to the cap following a review into the market. The government's announcement follows that advice.

(Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Hugh Lawson)