By Jaime Llinares Taboada

 

The U.K. government said Friday that it intends to extend the energy retail price cap beyond 2023.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, minister for energy, said in a letter that there is a substantial risk that millions of consumers will be exposed to excessive charging if the price cap expires before conditions for effective competition in the energy retail market are in place.

The current law allows for the price cap to be extended up to the end of 2023 at the latest. Ms. Trevelyan said extending it beyond that date will ensure consumers are protected.

In addition, the government has published a consultation on testing of opt-out switching, in which consumers on costly tariffs would be automatically switched to cheaper ones. This is designed to tackle the so-called loyalty penalty, and trials are planned to take place in 2024.

Shares in Centrica PLC, the owner of British Gas, at 0804 GMT were down 1.4% at 48.61 pence. Telecom Plus PLC, another energy retailer, is flat at 1,030 pence.

 

Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at jaime.llinares@wsj.com; @JaimeLlinaresT

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 23, 2021 04:30 ET (08:30 GMT)

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