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Octopus CEO Greg Jackson calls for relative price cap

Appearing before the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee on the energy price cap, Mr Jackson said consumers should not be blamed for not engaging with the market.

Octopus Energy CEO Greg Jackson today called for a relative price cap in the energy market to make it work better for customers.

Appearing before the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee on the energy price cap, Mr Jackson said consumers should not be blamed for not engaging with the market.

He made a powerful comparison between the shoddy experience of millions of energy consumers on overpriced tariffs to that of supermarket customers enjoying the benefits of fair competition.

He said: “The idea that you should have to switch supplier every year in order to avoid getting literally ripped off is absurd. Mr Jackson branded suggestions by the Big Six energy firms that they would ditch their standard variable tariffs as “dangerous”.

He told the committee that the Centrica’s SVT was exactly the same price as its most expensive fixed tariff – £1,119.

And he warned that the Big Six were trying to “pull the wool over customers’ eyes,” adding: “I’m hearing it today.” 

He said: “The reason the big companies want to get rid of the SVT is they know that it gives politicians and the media a figure that they can talk about as the price.

“And they know that the time they put the price up is the time that they experience the greatest amount of negative PR and the greatest outflow of customers who finally realise quite how much they are being ripped off.

“Ending the SVT is dangerous because it takes away the one bit of transparency that currently holds companies to account.”

Mr Jackson criticised the Big Six for their tease and squeeze tactics of subsidising new customers on low prices through the much higher prices of millions of loyal customers on the SVT.

Asked to describe how the relative price cap would work, Mr Jackson said:

“It just means that whatever price an energy company advertises today has got to be within, say, 6% of the price it charges its loyal customers.

“What that means is any company that is uncompetitive, ripping off its loyal customers can never win another customer.”

He added: “A relative cap will get the bargain hunters bring prices down for everybody.”

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For journalists in their professional capacity only. Issued by Octopus Energy Ltd. Registered office: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT. Registered in England and Wales No. 09263424. Issued: October 2017.