A LOCAL MP has supported calls for energy market action as figures calculated by Octopus Energy showed that people in North Ayrshire and Arran are over-paying £5,510,000 a year on their energy bills.

A cross-party group of MPs has now written to the government urging it to make sure all consumers benefit from fair energy prices.

This follows a Commons debate on the issue in early March, cosponsored by Ayrshire and Arran MP, Patricia Gibson.

All three of the largest parliamentary parties called for a price cap in their manifestos, but current government plans would only target a fraction of those on rip-off tariffs, causing cross-party outrage amongst MPs.

An inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority found that energy customers were paying on average £1.4 billion a year more than would be the case in a competitive market.

During the General Election, Prime Minister Theresa May pledged action to help all 17 million customers on ‘standard variable tariffs’ who pay the highest prices for their energy.

Patricia Gibson MP, SNP Consumer Affairs Spokesperson, said: “It’s outrageous that the Big Six energy companies are getting away with overcharging the people of North Ayrshire and Arran.

“Much more needs to be done to protect those who are struggling to pay their energy bills that are significantly more expensive than they would be in a competitive market. We need to see the government take strong, swift action to bring real competition to the energy market and end the Big Six’s predatory pricing.

“Only a ‘relative price cap’ – in which a company’s Standard Variable Tariff is pegged to a maximum percentage above its best deal – would create the real price transparency needed to harness competition for the benefit of all.”