Nick Butler, the former vice president of strategy and development for the oil industry and gas giant, has called on industry regulator Ofgem to scrap a planned price cap increase on households energy bills, calling the move “inevitable”. Britons are set to face skyrocketing household bills, with the price cap set to rise from £1,971 to £3,582.
As soaring wholesale gas costs fall on consumers, experts have warned that millions of households in the UK could face fuel poverty as these skyrocketing bills could make life unaffordable for many.
Mr Butler warned Ofgem had been ‘overwhelmed by events’ after the global fossil fuel crisis drove 29 UK energy retailers out of business.
Writing in the Guardian, he also called for a “forensic review” of the accounts of the remaining suppliers to ensure they are still viable businesses.
He said: ‘In each case they need to define their costs and profit margins if they are to regain public trust.
“There is, for example, no reason for generators of electricity from nuclear or renewable sources in the UK to benefit from a price cap dominated by the wholesale price of natural gas.
“A careful examination of the true economics of each company is likely to show that freezing the price cap will be less expensive than currently imagined and expose exactly who should be targeted by any unjustifiable profit taxation.
“Those who resist risk losing their operating license.”
Mr Butler, who was senior policy adviser to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, argued that energy companies that have failed to cut their bills should be renationalised.
He said: “In just a few short weeks, more than 100,000 of us across the country have come together to say that we will refuse to be pushed into energy poverty and that we no longer want to pay for the benefits of energy companies.”
“We are building the biggest mass non-payment campaign since the Poll Tax and showing the powers that be that our collective power will force an end to this crisis.”
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