The default tariff cap: More questions than answers?

Throughout the recent period of wholesale and supply market volatility, the government and Ofgem have remained committed to the default tariff cap and continued to highlight its benefits to customers in protecting them from rising energy prices this winter.

However, Cornwall Insight’s forecast of the default tariff cap for Summer 2022 is now £1,897 per annum for a typical domestic dual fuel customer, with this figure including our latest view of both wholesale market costs and non-energy costs for both gas and electricity. This compares to the current Winter 2021-22 cap level of £1,278 per annum, which was itself a record high, while our Winter 2022-23 forecast (which has yet to commence the formal price calculation period running February 2022 to July 2022 inclusive is £2,054 per annum.

This includes our estimate of the costs associated with supplier exits over the period from September 2021 to December 2021 through the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process, which stands at approximately £2.44bn. Of this, around 75% is in the form of wholesale energy purchase costs – this having already been given initial consent by Ofgem.

As we have discussed previously, the six-month nature of the cap serves to defer rather than eliminate any upward pressure on bills, which based upon the step change in the Summer 2022 cap is due primarily to wholesale cost increases. As such, there are a number of options going through the consultation process intended to mitigate this increase and re-establish stability to the market, but we note that there are other elements to consider:

  • What happens if the wholesale market slumps?
  • The future of Bulb Energy
  • The non-domestic market

Log in or create a free account here to continue reading.

To keep reading, please log in to your account

Related thinking

Commercial and market outlook

Zap, Crackle, Pop! SA’s shocking electric dance party on the 11th

Across the mainland states in the NEM, South Australia (SA) relies heavily on variable renewable energy (VRE) resources. SA is an excellent subject to test the premise “What if the wind doesn’t blow, and the sun doesn’t shine”? Negative spot prices persist in South Australia due to an abundant supply...

Commercial and market outlook

Polarisation of wholesale spot prices leads to opportunity for arbitrage services

Over the last five financial years, South Australia has seen a significant increase in price volatility, with substantial portions of time both negative and above $250/MWh, leading to increasing opportunities for storage systems to provide arbitrage services. A number of events initiated the reduction in wholesale energy prices between $50/MWh...

Business supply and services

Are Falling Wholesale Energy Prices Good News For The Wider Economy?

A lot has happened in the last year. Challenging trading conditions across the economy have been exacerbated by extremely high energy prices.  In this week's 'Chart of the week' we look at the business landscape using trends from a range of economic indicators.  

Commercial and market outlook

It’s the Liddell things that matter

Australia’s oldest coal-fired power plant Liddell retired completely in the last week of April 2023 after 52 years. This giant of AGL, which had a total registered capacity of 2,000 MW, operationally acted as a 1600MW station and 1200MW after the closure of its third unit. Australia’s transition to clean...

Energy storage and flexibility

A look at AEMO pre-dispatch forecasts over the last year

The Energy Security Board (ESB), under the direction of the National Cabinet, is currently working on a number of changes that will impact how generators connect to and operate within the National Electricity Market (NEM). The Congestion Relief Market (CRM) model is one such change to how the NEM currently...

Business supply and services

The first month of the EGL against a backdrop of falling wholesale prices

The end of January means the end of the first month of the Electricity Generator Levy (EGL). First announced as part of the Autumn 2022 budget, the EGL places a 45% tax on generation receipts above £75/MWh for non-Contracts for Difference (CfD) renewable and nuclear generators until March 2028. In...

Home supply and services

With wholesale prices falling, how many domestic customers are looking for better prices?

In anticipation of supply contracts being offered below the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), what might happen to customer switching rates? In this week’s 'Chart of the week', we look at how many domestic consumers might be ready to switch when suppliers increasingly offer contracts below the price cap supported level,...

Power and gas networks

How much impact does the MSC have now?

As prices in the market remain volatile, a recent drop in the price of wholesale gas has caused the Market Stabilisation Charge (MSC) to be triggered. The MSC was introduced in April 2022 as a short-term intervention in an unstable market, designed to protect suppliers that have hedged in advance...