Pevensey Bay MP and the government’s energy and climate change minister Greg Barker is backing plans for energy suppliers to offer a single unit price for gas and electricity.
In a statement this week the Conservative MP said, “This Coalition Government is determined to do everything we can to help hard pressed families with the rising cost of living. That means going further than any government before in simplifying energy tariffs. “We believe that single unit pricing could have merit and the Coalition is actively considering this approach as part of our energy tariff reforms.
“However, despite the attraction of greater transparency and clearer choices for consumers – which are at the heart of our new approach to energy market reform – there are potentially unintended consequences inherent with single unit pricing.
“We are particularly concerned about the impact on vulnerable high energy users including pensioners, the disabled, and those with young children. We need to make sure that we fully understand the potential impacts before making a decision on whether to move in this direction.”
Last week one of the UK’s biggest energy suppliers, EDF Energy, called for single-unit pricing for gas and electricity to help consumers compare tariffs as easily as they currently shop around for petrol.
EDF Energy said it would introduce the system if all other suppliers did too.
The energy regulator Ofgem said the proposed scheme would not be as easy to implement as it might appear because of the number of payment options and special “dual fuel” packages that currently existed.
A plan by Ofgem to simplify the energy market will be included in the forthcoming Energy Bill. It will require companies to limit the number of tariffs on offer to four for gas and electricity.