A group of 192 MPs has called on the Prime Minster to deliver on a pre-election pledge to bring in an energy price cap to protect the 17 million households on expensive standard variable tariffs.

Ahead of the Conservative Party conference, 76 Tory MPs and 116 opposition MPs have signed the joint letter, which warns current proposals from regulator Ofgem to cap prices for two million vulnerable customers do not go far enough.

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How could energy prices be capped?

In March 2017, Theresa May told The Sun newspaper: 'Like millions of working families, I am fed up with rip-off energy prices... So I am making this promise: if I am re-elected on 8 June, I will take action to end this injustice by introducing a cap on unfair energy price rises."

Though the pledge did not explicitly appear in the Conservative Party's election manifesto, it had been suggested prior to its publication that Ofgem would be given powers to set maximum prices and be able to review the limit every six months, keeping the cap in line with wholesale energy prices.

However, in July Ofgem announced it was looking at introducing an energy price cap for vulnerable customers – rather than a wider cap for every household stuck on an expensive standard variable tariff.

Ofgem is currently looking at introducing a 'safeguard tariff', to ensure vulnerable customers don't overpay on their energy by setting a cap on the maximum per-unit amount they can pay.

We've yet to see the full details of the safeguard tariff, though one of the options under consideration is to extend the existing cap on prepaid energy prices to those who receive the Warm Home Discount, protecting about 2.5 million people.

'We remain prepared to legislate'

Responding to the letter from MPs, a spokesperson for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: "The Government is determined to see the huge detriment suffered by loyal energy consumers addressed.

"The Business Secretary asked Ofgem to advise on what measures it will take to safeguard consumers and, while we await the regulator's proposals, we remain prepared to legislate if necessary."

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