Cornwall Insight comments on the Summer Price Cap

Commenting on today’s announcement that the Summer Price Cap has been set at £1,971 for a typical user, Dr Craig Lowrey, Senior Consultant at Cornwall Insight said:

“With the wholesale gas and electricity market remaining incredibly volatile, it was unfortunately inevitable that the Default Tariff Cap would be raised to what is an historic level. As forecast by Cornwall Insight prior to this announcement, a typical customer is now likely to see over £600 a year on top of what, for many, were already high energy bills. 

“Given the extent of the increase, the immediate focus of the government and Ofgem must be to shield customers, and the wider economy, from the impact of this rise. There are a number of avenues that can be explored through the tax and benefit system, whether this be direct financial support such as increasing the warm homes discount, a suspension of VAT or deferring network costs, amongst other options, all of which will make a temporary dent in the payments.

“Mitigating the effect of this rise is however not a viable long-term solution, and without changes, we predict the winter cap will see payments rise to over £2,000 a year for the average customer. Furthermore, any tools intended to reduce the immediate impact of these record high prices will mean that they are ultimately borne over a longer period.

“Throughout this period of volatility in the markets, one that currently shows no signs of abating, the government and Ofgem have been steadfast in their belief that the Default Tariff Cap is the correct mechanism to protect customers from higher bills. However, the cap was never meant to be a permanent solution and today has shown that rather than protecting customers, the impact in the wholesale market over the last 12 months was simply deferred, leading to this significant increase announced today.

“Where we go from here is a matter of debate, and solutions such as increasing energy storage, rebalancing our import and home-grown energy usage and looking at low carbon policies to lower our vulnerability to fossil fuel prices are all areas that need exploring further. Ultimately what has become clear is if we continue to only play with our outdated system, consumers, suppliers and the wider economy will all pay the price.”


Notes to Editors

Cornwall Insight’s most recent forecast for the Summer 2022 Default Tariff Cap was within 3% of the £1,971 confirmed by Ofgem.

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About the Cornwall Insight Group

Cornwall Insight is the pre-eminent provider of research, analysis, consulting and training to businesses and stakeholders engaged in the Australian, Great British, and Irish energy markets. To support our customers, we leverage a powerful combination of analytical capability, a detailed appreciation of regulation codes and policy frameworks, and a practical understanding of how markets function.