Rising energy costs set to 'make life hard for many,' Octopus Energy chief tells LBC

19 September 2021, 12:11 | Updated: 19 September 2021, 12:23

By Elizabeth Haigh

The boss of a major UK energy firm has said that rising energy costs "are going to make life hard for many people" this winter, but that the price cap has sheltered customers from the worst of the price rises.

Chief executive of Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson, told LBC that the price cap has protected households from the immediate impact of energy price hikes.

He said that although the cost of supplying energy has risen by over £500 per household, the cap has prevented this from hitting customers.

He said: "I think the reality is, the price cap has been a godsend."

The energy price cap is set to rise again from October 1 by £139, after already being raised in April by £96 to £1,138.

It is reviewed every six months by independent regulator Ofgem.

Mr Jackson told Tom Swarbrick: "There's no money tree.

"The reality is our society faces a lot of changes."

Read more: Price cap rise: Why are energy bills going up?

Read more: Millions of households to see energy bills rise by at least £139

He said that rising wholesale gas prices are a large factor behind the escalating costs, as prices rose 70% in August alone.

Mr Jackson also blamed poor preparation for planned summer maintenance work on electricity plants, including on around a fifth of all nuclear power stations in the UK that are currently offline.

He argued that if the government had invested more in renewables, energy suppliers would be in a better position to handle the amount of maintenance work required.

He also criticised the tax on energy: "It’s kind of crazy that electricity, which is increasingly green, is the most heavily taxed fuel."

Mr Jackson concluded there is "a perfect storm of problems" for the energy sector.