The Energy Price Freeze

Lesley Brennan

11 November 2014

An incoming Labour Government in 2015 will freeze gas and electricity prices until 2017.

This promise was unveiled at the Labour Party conference in 2013 , and now its introduction  becomes even more necessary as the longer nights and colder weather are with us again, and the General Election is now less than six months away.

Keeping warm and eating are essentials, and people are dependent upon the energy companies to be able to carry out these necessary functions.   

However, under David Cameron’s tenancy of 10 Downing Street, average energy bills have shot up by almost £300 in total , and have become a major issue in the cost-of-living crisis.

The freeze is both popular and necessary.

Popular because of public distrust  of the companies over prices and necessary to break the near monopoly of the “Big Six” energy companies and bring in tighter regulation of their activities. 

Both are symptoms of a broken market that needs to be fixed.

Labour plans to protect the public interest by ending the practice that has little or no transparency by which the Big Six energy companies produce gas and electricity, sell it to themselves, and then sell it on to consumers .

The companies would be broken up so that there is a clear legal separation between the power stations of the energy companies on one hand and the companies which sell energy to the general public on the other.

A new regulator of the companies would be much tougher than at present and would act to defend the interests of consumers. 

Too often customers have been left with the perception that the price charged to them does not reflect any lowering of the wholesale cost of energy, and that while these companies have accumulated large profits, it has been the customers who have footed the bill. 

The reform of the energy market is part of Labour’s wider objective of making the economy work better for the many.

It means standing up for the consumer in contrast to a Tory-led Government that is standing by the energy companies. 

It will be a major issue in May.

 

 

 

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