Freedom News

Legal challenge against energy cap

Good Law Project, (GLP) Fuel Poverty Action and the Highlands and Islands Affordable Homes Warmth Group have announced they are planning to sue the energy regulator Ofgem, over its failure to mitigate the impact of rising energy bills on  consumers. Naturally DPAC have also asked to be involved with this challenge and will be providing an overview statement spelling out that for many disabled people not being able to afford their energy is more than choosing between eating and heating but actually choosing between living and dying in a wide range of circumstances.

GLP are looking for disabled and older individuals who might be willing to support the case either as co-claimants or by giving witness statements about why they need to use extra energy and what the impact of not being able to afford that would be, plus anything else people feel is relevant.

DPAC also needs to collate cases from people about this so we’d like people to email us at about their own circumstances. Please could you say if you are also willing to be a co—claimant or provide a witness statement and whether we can pass on your contact details and circumstances to GLP.

​​​​​​​ There will be no financial risk to anyone and all legal costs associated with the case will be covered by Good Law Project, who will provide an indemnity to that effect.

GLP will ask the High Court to ensure the regulator fulfils its legal duties to, among other things, carry out an impact assessment before confirming the price cap increase, including assessing the disproportionate impact on elderly people, children and disabled people.

Good Law Project argues that Ofgem has the power to do more to protect people facing the greatest problems from these horrendous increases and believes before raising the cap, Ofgem is legally required to:

  • Provide evidence it has carried out a proper impact assessment
  • Consider appropriate mitigation measures for those at greatest risk, including a lower social tariff.

In July, the campaign group wrote to Ofgem, expressing concern about its decision-making. We asked it to provide proof of its impact assessments. It failed to produce any such evidence. Last week GLP put the regulator on notice of formal legal action if it failed to uphold its duties. A formal response to the letter is expected today, but today’s announcement provides no indication that an impact assessment has been carried out.

Image: Axel Bührmann, published under CC BY 2.0

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