Government told to 'show more urgency' in fighting rising energy prices

The government needs to be more urgent in curbing soaring gas and electricity prices to avoid a national emergency, an energy chief said.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Ovo, told the BBC that the impact of rising wholesale gas prices will be “a huge crisis for 2022”.

Fears of rising household bills in the New Year have been louder since soaring gas prices sent suppliers bankrupt in September. Since then the cost has increased from 54 pence per Therm gas to £ 4.50.

In an interview with the broadcaster, Mr. Fitzpatrick said: “We have been through this energy crisis for the past three months and have watched energy prices go up, go down and go up again.

“We had more than 30 bankruptcies in the industry, we had millions of customers who were forced to switch suppliers. The cost to the consumer is already more than £ 4 billion. We saw no government or regulatory action.

“It is accepted that there is a problem, but nowhere near enough urgency to find a solution.”

His comments come as Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to hold “emergency” meetings with energy industry leaders on Monday to address rapidly rising wholesale gas prices.

According to reports, the bosses are likely to call for tax cuts and the easing of environmental taxes.

A government spokesman told the BBC: “We work with the energy industry on a regular basis and will continue to ensure that consumers are protected by the energy price cap, which protects millions from record gas prices worldwide.”

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