It comes as Darren Jones, chairman of the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, warned the “vast majority of people” may now be in fuel poverty. The MP for Bristol North West, said of a possible definition of fuel poverty: after having paid your housing costs and based on your disposable income, you are spending more than 10 percent of that on energy bills.
Regulators and the Government should act with a response to this crisis similar to that against the COVID-19 pandemic, Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, believes.
The 60-year-old green industrialist proposed plan to tackle the energy crisis and save millions of households includes a price cap on the North Sea oil and gas producers.
Mr Vince told the Mail Online: “We have a price cap in [energy] retail sales to homes, we don’t have one on wholesale. We’ve done half a job, which causes lopsided problems.
“It’s simple in retail: energy companies are allowed to make two percent profit, set by Ofgem. So you can have two percent on top of that for wholesale.
“Currently we let those guys sell it to us at global commodity prices set by the international market – that doesn’t make any sense to me.
“The Government made a late and half-hearted attempt at a windfall tax on profits which will make next to no difference.”
This regulatory intervention, according to the tycoon, could save approximately £1,000 per household.
He added: “We pay £1,800 for gas – that’s half of our energy bills. In broad terms, take that gas half away from bills and you could be saving £1,000 per household. Put it in and you take the problem away.
“It’s not just homes being affected, it’s small businesses – they can’t afford to pay their bills.
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“You don’t need a tax for it and it could take £30 billion off energy bills.
“A lot of people can’t pay [bills], so the solutions are either public money or changing the system.
“Forty percent of our electricity comes from gas, but [gas prices] set the price for nuclear, coal and renewables – every other kind of energy we pay for.
“That could half the electricity bill if we did that, and half gas bills.”