Ofgem has proposed new plans to adjust the energy price cap every three months instead of the current twice a year.
The energy price cap – which is the mechanism that outlines the maximum amount that companies can charge to provide energy – has been credited with protecting around 22 million UK households from the worst of the price hikes after COVID-19 restrictions were eased and the war in Ukraine pushed up wholesale gas prices.
The cap prevented companies from passing on unprecedented increases to their customers.
According to the government, the cap was said to have delayed the impact from the most damaging element of the ongoing cost of living crisis, after the average bill rose by 54%, or £693 annually, from April to £1,971, and the latest forecasts suggest bills could rise to almost £2,600 in October when the next price cap adjustment is due.
But now, industry regulator Ofgem revealed in a statement today that it was putting the idea of more regular adjustments of the cap out to consultation.
This proposed plan is said to have come after there was criticism expressed that the present twice-yearly adjustment arrangement had contributed to the collapse of several suppliers last year at the height of the wholesale gas price shock, Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said adjusting the cap more regularly would “reflect the most accurate energy prices”.
He also said it means that when costs fall from the current record highs, customers would “see the benefit much sooner”.
Ofgem said in a statement: “Our top priority is to protect consumers by ensuring a fair and resilient energy market that works for everyone.
“Our retail reforms will ensure that consumers are paying a fair price for their energy while ensuring resilience across the sector [and] today’s proposed change would mean the price cap is more reflective of current market prices and any price falls would be delivered more quickly to consumers.
“It would also help energy suppliers better predict how much energy they need to purchase for their customers, reducing the risk of further supplier failures, which ultimately pushes up costs for consumers.”
In response to the Ofgem statement issued on the price cap, a government spokesman said: “We recognise the pressures people are facing with the cost of living, which is why we have set out a £22 billion package of support, including rebates and reductions for energy bills, as well as more targeted support for low income and vulnerable households.
“The price cap continues to insulate households from even higher global gas prices [and] that’s why we have also outlined plans to extend the cap beyond 2023.”
Featured Image – RawPixel
Irish pub in Altrincham closed by police for ‘offering sexual services’
A pub in Altrincham has been ordered to close after a police raid today found it was being used to ‘offer sexual services for reward’.
Officers also found that a vulnerable woman had been trafficked from outside Trafford to work at The Railway.
The traditional Irish pub on Manchester Road has been ordered to close for three months.
Two people have been arrested for crimes relating to prostitution for gain.
The news follows a raid where officers found ‘significant evidence’ that the pub’s premises were being used to offer sexual services.
Photos shared by Greater Manchester Police show a closure order being taped to The Railway’s front door.
It reads: “These premises have been issued with a closure order to prevent nuisance and disorder.
“Trafford Community Safety Partnership takes action to protect local communities from the harm caused by crime and anti-social behaviour.”
A statement from GMP says: “Officers from GMP have carried out a search warrant on the Railway Pub on Manchester Road in Altrincham accompanied by colleagues from Trafford Council’s Community Safety Team.
“Significant evidence was found on the premises indicating that the premises were being used to offer sexual services for reward and a vulnerable woman, trafficked from outside Trafford to work there was found on the premises.
“Two persons have been arrested for crimes relating to controlling prostitution for gain and today, the Magistrates issued an order on application from the council closing the premises for three months. A review of the premises license will now be requested.”
The Railway reopened as an Irish bar in 2021 following a fire in late 2020.
Consumer watchdog orders Tesco to make Clubcard prices ‘clearer’ in stores
Tesco is to start making Clubcard Prices “even clearer” in stores across the UK after a row with the leading consumer watchdog.
The supermarket‘s Clubcard loyalty scheme has more than 20 million people signed-up nationwide, making it one of the most popular of its kind on the market, by far – but over the coming weeks, members will start to see changes in the way Clubcard Prices are displayed when they’re shopping in Tesco stores.
That’s because, the retailer has been told to make the prices “even clearer” by the UK’s leading consumer watchdog.
It’s all to do with unit pricing, as Which? had said that Tesco’s decision not to display this on its Clubcard offers could, essentially, be breaking the law.
Tesco has been ordered to make Clubcard prices ‘clearer’ in stores / Credit: The Manc Group
According to BBC claims, Which? reported Tesco to the regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), in June of last year, as competition rules state that unit prices could be seen as “material information”.
This means that they’re something most people would need in order to make an informed decision about how to get the best value from what they by.
But while Tesco apparently said at the time that Which?’s claims were “ill-founded”, it looks to have changed its tune now, as the supermarket’s bosses have this week announced that unit prices will now be displayed in stores.
Consumer watchdog Which? said the supermarket could be breaking the law unless it displayed ‘unit prices’ / Credit: The Manc Group
Tesco’s UK CEO Jason Tarry said the retailer is “working harder than ever” to help make sure customers get “great value” when they shop in stores nationwide.
“We want our customers to be able to see just how well these offers stack up,” Mr Tarry said.
“If you are in store, you will now start to see that the way that we display our Clubcard Prices will not only show the total price, but also the unit price of the product (by volume or weight), to allow a direct comparison of the price per unit between the Clubcard Prices offer and the price of alternative products.”
The changes will start being introduced in all UK stores over the coming weeks / Credit: Tesco plc
Mr Tarry claims this is something Tesco’s been “planning to do for some time”, and is “pleased” the retailer is now ready to make the change.
He continued: “Over the coming weeks, these changes will appear in all our stores, as our colleagues update millions of price labels on the shelf edge, and we will also be adding these unit prices to our Clubcard Prices deals online.