Ripple Founder and CEO, Sarah Merrick, outlines her thoughts on today’s latest price cap announcement and what it means for customers:
Today the energy price cap was announced by Ofgem was for period covering Oct-Dec 2023. Even though today’s announcement sees a small decline against the previous quarter’s figures, energy prices remain high and volatile. It shows us in no uncertain terms that we need to look at alternative measures that provide a stronger, long-term solution to the energy crisis.
We need to move away from expensive fossil fuels and improve the rollout of renewable energy projects across the UK that generate cheaper and greener electricity. This will reduce our reliance on gas imports, increase our energy independence and reduce our carbon footprint. All whilst providing cheaper electricity for consumers.
From 1 October, the energy price cap will be £1,923. This means that the energy bill for a typical household using 2900Wh a year will drop. However, the new price cap is significantly higher than the cap of £1,042 in Oct 2020-April 2021.
Ripple enables individuals to take action in protecting themselves from steep energy price hikes. But we need the Government to make net zero a real priority. We’re beyond the point of commitments and targets. We need real action and we need it fast.
Targeted government support
We need to provide additional support for those who are most vulnerable. The 2022 rise in energy prices resulted in 287,000 households in England entering into fuel poverty. This is unacceptable. The government needs to act now to deliver targeted support and ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Increase energy efficient upgrades on homes
The amount of home energy efficiency measures undertaken actually fell by 55% in 2022 compared to 2021. Ten years ago, we were insulating nearly 800,000 homes annually. Now, we are insulating less than 200,000. When prices have been so high, and with the need to reduce emissions as well, this is inexcusable. People desperately need help to reduce their energy bills.
Overturn the ban on onshore wind in England
Wind and solar power are the cheapest sources of energy, and we need to increase the rollout of these across the UK. The more we generate from wind and solar, the less vulnerable we are to volatile international energy prices.
Sort out the energy planning system
We need to plan for energy much better. New wind farms and solar parks need to secure planning permission much more quickly. And the grid needs to be able to connect projects much more quickly. It can take more than 10 years for new projects to be able to connect to the grid. That’s 10 years of lost low cost power and 10 years of lost CO2 savings. The Government needs to majorly overhaul the system to deliver on their net zero targets, and enable cheaper, greener electricity for consumers.
Support consumer-owned energy
To provide the most cost-effective electricity generated from wind and solar , consumers should be able to own part of the wind farms and solar parks themselves. This will give households direct ownership over their home electricity.
Ripple enables households to part-own a large scale wind farm or solar park. These households benefit from their own low cost, green energy supply, with their bills stabilised and shielded from steep market energy price hikes.
Thousands of Ripple members have acted to protect themselves. Over 15,000 members have bought shares in Ripple managed wind farms and a solar park.
Ripple members are taking real action. But they can’t do it alone. What we need now is real action from the government with bold delivery, fast.
Fuel Poverty Factsheet England, Department for Energy Security & Net Zero 2022
Household Energy Efficiency, Department for Energy Security & Net Zero 2023