John makes clear that he still believes an Energy Price Cap is the way forward for protecting consumers, but says it needs serious reform.
I welcome the Secretary of State’s commitment to making sure that this temporary measure is indeed temporary, and I encourage him to make it as short as possible. I also welcome his commitment to the ongoing use of the price cap, but I urge him when the price cap legislation comes up for renewal in the next 12 months to think very carefully about reform in order to make the price cap much more fit for purpose. At the moment, it is not doing what we need it to do. We have companies going bust and an ongoing problem with the loyalty penalty, which was, after all, one of the key reasons for introducing it in the first place.
My hon. Friend will appreciate that Ofgem, as I alluded to in my statement, has already launched a consultation on precisely the issue of the retail price gap. It will be driving that forward and I am sure that his input will be welcome. We have had lots of mitigations to protect the most vulnerable consumers, but we clearly need to have a discussion about the retail market. Ofgem is leading that discussion and my Department is supporting a closer look at the retail market.