October 5, 2017 / 6:37 AM / a year ago

Centrica boss urges UK to rethink price cap plan

LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Centrica, Britain’s biggest energy provider, urged the government on Thursday to be more imaginative in its approach to restructuring the market, saying plans to cap prices lead to less competition and less choice.

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she would impose a price cap on standard variable tariffs (SVT) to help millions of households and tackle what she described as “rip-off prices”.

But Centrica boss Iain Conn said price caps rarely work and the government should instead scrap SVTs, the basic rates that energy suppliers charge if a customer does not opt for a specific plan.

“The main problem with the market is the standard variable tariff, and rather than cap them ... we believe the standard variable tariff should come to an end, for good,” he told BBC Radio 4. (Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by Estelle Shirbon)

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