January 17, 2018 / 10:54 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK energy price cap laws should be passed by summer - minister

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LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Britain hopes to pass laws to allow the capping of the most common form of gas and electricity tariffs for millions of households by the summer, a junior minister in the business department told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Theresa May said in October she would impose controls to tackle what she called “rip-off energy prices”, sending shares in the leading providers tumbling.

Ofgem said last week that the cap could be in place by Christmas 2018, provided parliament passed the necessary laws by the summer.

“The intention would be to introduce the bill shortly, with the intention of getting royal assent before the summer recess,” said Claire Perry, minister of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Parliament usually begins its summer recess in mid to late July.

The government has said the cap would be temporary and set by regulator Ofgem. It published draft legislation in October.

Home power bills have doubled in Britain over the past decade to an average of about 1,150 pounds ($1,500) a year. (Reporting by William James; Editing by Andrew MacAskill and Alison Williams)

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