The Chancellor has said on Thursday that he will “do what it takes” to help households if the energy price cap rises further this coming autumn.
Today Ofgem lowered the price cap as wholesale prices have fallen and the average household energy bill will drop by £426 from July.
This is the first time prices have fallen since the global crisis started 18 months ago and Ofgem is cutting the price cap from £3,280 to £2,074 from 1 July.
The regulator said, “whilst today’s level is lower than last quarter, it is still above the levels it was before the energy crisis took hold, meaning many households could still struggle to pay bills.”
Jeremy Hunt told Sky News that Ofgem’s reduction in the price cap is “positive news” for millions of households, but warned that there is still a “period of distress” for many.people.
Hunt was asked if the government will step in to help households should the energy price cap rise again.
Hunt told Sky News’ Ed Conway, “we want to do everything we can to help families.”
Hunt added that the government are “willing to do what it takes” to support households should energy price rise again later this year.
The Chancellor said, “I don’t have a crystal ball.
“That’s why I don’t want to say more. Nor do I know what the state of public finances will be.”
The Chancellor said that the Treasury is “very aware” that families are under immense pressure.
He added, “Which is why we are putting in really about £100bn of support to help families over this year and last year – a huge sum of money – to help people get through this very difficult period.”
Ofgem’s chief executive Jonathan Brearley said on Thursday, “After a difficult winter for consumers it is encouraging to see signs that the market is stabilising and prices are moving in the right direction.
“People should start seeing cheaper energy bills from the start of July, and that is a welcome step towards lower costs.
“However, we know people are still finding it hard, the cost-of-living crisis continues and these bills will still be troubling many people up and down the country.
“Where people are struggling, we urge them to contact their supplier who will be able to offer a range of support, such as payment plans or access to hardship funds.
“In the medium term, we’re unlikely to see prices return to the levels we saw before the energy crisis, and therefore we believe that it is imperative that government, Ofgem, consumer groups and the wider industry work together to support vulnerable groups.
“In particular, we will continue to work with government to look at all options.”