Scottish & Southern and Scottish Gas chiefs grumble over energy price-cap as Govt. launches Smart Meter Bill

British Energy Minister Richard Harrington formally introduced the Smart Meter Bill into the Westminster parliament yesterday.

He said: “The roll-out of smart meters continues at pace – with almost 7.7 million already operating in Great Britain and nearly 350,000 being installed every month – bringing an end to estimated bills and helping people to save energy and money.

“Every home and small business will be offered a smart meter by the end of 2020. The Bill published today will ensure consumers continue to get the most from their smart meters once installed, during and beyond the roll-out.”

Meanwhile Big Six energy suppliers from north and south of the Border continue to grumble over the Brit-Govt’s plans to introduce a partial price-cap.

Centrica plc – which owns the ‘British’ and ‘Scottish’ Gas retail brands – yesterday refused to rule out legal action against Downing Street’s plans.

In response to questions by Westminster MPs on the parliament’s energy committee yesterday, Sarwjit Sambhi, Centrica’s head of home supply, declined five times to say whether the company would call for a judicial review.

He said there was “not sufficient detail” in the bill thus far to declare Centrica’s position, but that “a key outcome if the energy bill is put to legislation is that the cap should reflect the cost of actually supplying energy to customers.

Meanwhile, Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of Perth-based utility SSE, said: “We believe in competition not caps, so if there is to be any intervention it should be simple to administer, time-limited, and maintain the principles of a competitive energy market to best serve vulnerable customers’ interests.

 “We will look carefully at <the price-cap> proposal and respond to the consultation in due course, but this process must result in an evidence-based solution based on input from all stakeholders to help avoid any unintended consequences that would threaten the significant progress being made in the market. “

19 Oct 2017

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