LONDON May 3 Any price cap on energy tariffs in
Britain should be for a limited period and reviewed regularly,
the country's second-largest energy supplier, SSE, said
Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party has pledged
to cap domestic energy tariffs if it is re-elected in a national
election next month, responding to voter discontent about energy
bills that have doubled over the past decade.
Its proposal sent SSE's and rival Centrica's share
prices down by as much as 5 percent last week as a price cap
would hurt their revenue.
In its first comments on the subject, SSE said on Wednesday
that if a price cap were introduced it should be for a limited
period and reviewed regularly to account for changes in
wholesale prices and environmental and social policy charges.
"A price cap could be introduced; our concern is whether it
should be," SSE said in a statement.
May's Conservatives are well ahead in opinion polls ahead of
the June 8 election. The opposition Labour party has previously
also called for freezing energy tariffs.
The head of Centrica has similar concerns on the price cap
proposal, saying the pledge showed some in May's government did
not believe in free markets at a time when she is pinning the UK
economy's post-Brexit hopes on free trade.
A two-year review of Britain's energy market by the
competition watchdog concluded last year that customers had been
overcharged 1.4 billion pounds a year and that a price cap was
needed for certain customers who use a prepayment meter.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Susan Fenton)