Monday 26th September 2016                 Change text size:

Consumers and businesses call for ‘radical changes’ in the energy market



Karen Roe via Flickr

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and consumer group Which? have called on Ofgem to fix the broken energy market and investigate the monopoly held by the ‘big six’ suppliers.

In a letter to the energy regulator, the pair write, “It is clear that the energy market is broken and urgently needs fixing. Top of our concerns is the need to increase competition and to make trading transparent. For too long the lack of competition in the energy market has not been addressed.

“It is now time for radical changes that deliver an effective, competitive market that works for everyone, before the scale of this crisis worsens.”

They argue that despite pledges to reform, the lack of competition affects smaller energy firms and strengthens the position of the big six – British Gas, E.ON, EDF, SSE, Npower and Scottish Power – who still control 99% of the sector.

The big six have come under scrutiny over the past few months, after both Ofgem and energy secretary Ed Davey questioned their profits.

We all want to see a transparent market where consumers and businesses alike can understand their bills, compare prices and switch easily”, say Which? and the FSB.

We want to see the presence of strong competition right across the industry drive affordable pricing that give everyone the confidence they are paying a fair price for their energy.”

Ofgem recently announced new measures to make firms publish wholesale power prices two years in advance. Companies will also have to offer customers the best deal possible, in an effort to make the market fairer.

Further reading:

Energy customers switching suppliers at three-year high, says trade body

Ofgem: energy firms’ profits from customers up 77%

Ed Davey questions big six energy profits

Ofgem to ‘break down’ competition barriers to help smaller energy suppliers

Consumer complaints to energy ombudsman up 71% in 2013


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