Osborne urged to ‘cut the big 6 down to size’

The Chancellor has been urged to “cut the big 6 energy companies down to size” in his Autumn Statement on 4 December.

Consumer watchdog Which? has written to George Osborne calling on him to reform the energy market and make a series of changes that could save consumers up to £1.8 billion per year.

In the letter, Which? called for a commitment to separate the retail and generation arms of the energy companies in an attempt to make the energy market more competitive.

This is followed by “ending the blank cheque for suppliers’ delivery of the Energy Company Obligation (Eco)”. Which? estimated £200 million could be saved if this programme was delivered more efficiently.

Executive director at Which?, Richard Lloyd, also calls on the Chancellor to re-target Eco, allowing the Carbon Savings Obligation section of the scheme to prioritise low cost measures, potentially saving up to £363 million a year.

Osborne is also urged to scrap the carbon floor price – which is called an “unnecessary burden” by Lloyd – potentially taking £1 billion off consumer bills next year, and to take the Warm Home Discount off consumer bills, saving customers more than £290 million a year.

Lloyd also tells the Chancellor to halt the smart meter rollout, saying it is a “£12 billion luxury we cannot currently afford” and that postponing the rollout for two years could save £160 million.

On the call for action from the Chancellor, Lloyd said: “When George Osborne stands up to deliver his Autumn Statement we want him to stand up for the millions of hard-pressed consumers who are grappling day-to-day with rising energy costs.

“He must cut the big six energy companies and the cost of government energy policies down to size.”