Speaking in Parliament, Jo has raised concerns about rising energy costs.
With Ofgem’s investigation into whether hard-hitting energy price rises are justified due to report by the end of the year, Jo asked Scottish Secretary Michael Moore to ensure the regulator had all the necessary support to look into the matter and sanction suppliers if necessary.
The Scottish Secretary replied that he would be bringing energy companies and consumer groups in Scotland together to examine these issues, and would ensure they responded appropriately to Ofgem’s findings.
Commenting, Jo said:
“Many people in East Dunbartonshire are already struggling with large increases in their gas and electricity bills, and colder weather is just around the corner.
“The report of Ofgem’s investigation later this year, will therefore be a welcome indicator of whether the ‘big six’ energy companies are playing fair with consumers. The regulator needs adequate support to investigate thoroughly and apply sanctions where necessary, so I am pleased the Scottish Secretary is listening to these concerns.”
The full text of Jo’s question to the Secretary of State and his reply is as follows:
Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire) (LD): Many of my constituents, particularly those on low incomes, are struggling with the large increases in their gas and electricity bills. I very much welcome the recent news that Ofgem has brought in a firm of specialist auditors to help its investigation into whether the high energy prices are really justified, and I look forward to seeing its report at the end of the year. Will the Secretary of State and his colleagues ensure that Ofgem has all the necessary support to carry out a thorough investigation, and sufficient powers to sanction the big six, in particular, if, as I expect, it finds that they have been acting unfairly?
Michael Moore: Certainly, a feature of the discussions that I have been having recently is that many of the energy companies recognise that they need to regain the trust of the consumer concerning price rises and the reasons that they have come about. In the next few weeks I will be bringing energy companies and consumer groups in Scotland together to look at these issues in detail. I will ensure that the companies focus on the appropriate responses and that we take away whatever work we need to do.