CMA to extend prepay price cap

calculator and bill
Getty Images

The Competition and Markets Authority says it is planning to extend protection for 4 million prepayment customers beyond the end of 2020.

The prepayment price cap was initially expected to be in place until the end of 2020 by which time the CMA said it had expected the roll-out of smart meters to be "substantially completed".

"The completed roll-out of smart meters was intended to offer greater ease of switching for customers and to drive increased competition for and engagement by prepayment customers. We have provisionally found that the delay to the roll-out programme for smart meters is significant and represents a relevant change of circumstance," the CMA said.

Calculations to the way the cap is set will also be changed.

Cheaper bills ahead for energy customers?

Kevin Peachey

Personal finance reporter

Gas hob

Any gas and electricity being used now by most householders on default tariffs is being charged at a higher price - but analysts say there is better news ahead.

The new price cap set by regulator Ofgem kicked in at the start of April. As a result, energy firms are allowed to charge these loyal customers more.

Typically, this means the annual household bill is going up by £117 a year.

However, the cap will be reviewed again in a few months, and a new limit will be set in October.

Analysts at ICIS say that wholesale prices of energy have fallen "substantially" in the last two months and it expects them to continue to fall.

So, for householders, a new lower price cap - and, therefore, cheaper bills - may well kick in just as they turn the heating back on for the winter.

Regulators good value for money?

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

woman onphone
Getty Images

Four major UK regulators - Ofwat, Ofgem, Ofcom and the FCA - need to do more to prove they are offering enough protection to those who need it, according to National Audit Office.

Charles Nancarrow, who wrote the report for the spending watchdog, told BBC 4's Today Programme that it was a "difficult question to answer" whether they were good value for money.

“They need to define what overall success looks like so that they can measure their progress against that so consumers are be clear what to expect from providers and the public and citizens can clear about whether the regulators are performing well or not'".

Ofgem appoints SSE to take on Brilliant Energy customers

SSE logo

Ofgem has announced that it is appointing SSE to take on supplying Brilliant Energy’s 17,000 domestic customers.

All outstanding credit balances, including money owed to both existing and former customers of Brilliant Energy will also be honoured, and SSE will absorb a significant portion of these costs.

For existing customers, energy supplies will continue as normal as they switch over to SSE on 15 March.