Energy firms to face MPs questions on energy price crisis management and customer treatment
Representatives from energy suppliers, including failed firms Bulb and Avro, will face questions from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee over their handling of the energy price crisis.
Likely areas of questioning
Chief executives from four of the big six energy firms, E.ON, EDF, ScottishPower, and British Gas owner Centrica, will be quizzed on their efforts to support customers during this crisis. In a previous meeting, MPs on the Committee heard complaints that suppliers were disproportionately increasing direct debits and forcing people onto more expensive fixed rate deals instead of the capped variable tariff. MPs will also question CEOs on the Energy Security Strategy, concerns around delivering the Government’s rebate scheme, the future viability of the price cap and the lasting impact of this crisis on competition in the market.
Following the big four, the CEOs of collapsed suppliers Bulb and Avro will be questioned over the management of the firms before their collapse. Avro folded owing £90m to customers and its failure is expected to cost consumers £700m. Bulb, effectively nationalised after being deemed too big to fail, remains operational as the Government seeks a buyer to take it over. Its Chief Executive, Hayden Wood, is likely to be asked about the impact of the Government’s ban on it hedging energy. This follows reports that the cost of its Special Regime could balloon to more than £3bn from an expected £1.7bn as a result of the decision.
Wholesale gas prices have surged 500% since August last year and the average annual bill under the energy price cap rose £700 at the start of April, with a further steep hike expected in October. So far, 29 energy firms have gone bust since the start of the crisis.