Competition Authority extends ‘complex’ UK energy market probe by six months

Big Six logo montageThe Competition Authority has extended the timetable for its investigation into the UK energy market by six months to June 2016.

Roger Witcomb, Chairman of the energy market investigation, explained: “This is a huge programme of work and we have concluded that we could not complete it by the original statutory deadline.

“We have therefore decided there are special reasons for extending the reference period which will allow us some extra time to finish the job.

“This investigation – and the measures that could result from it – will have long-standing consequences for millions of customers in an industry of vital importance to the whole country.

“As the most comprehensive investigation into the energy market since privatisation, this is a once in a generation opportunity to shape the future of this market for the better. It’s important that we get it right.

“Our provisional findings identified a large number of areas where there might be a competition problem, including: –

  • A possible lack of consumer engagement in both domestic and microbusiness sectors
  • The ‘four tariffs rule’
  • DECC’s processes for allocating clean energy subsidies, the industry’s gas and electricity settlement systems, and:
  • The roles of Ofgem and DECC in regulatory decision-making, locational pricing of electricity, and energy code governance.

“We now need to refine our analysis in the light of the many responses we have received, to design potential measures that are effective and proportionate to remedy each possible issue, and then to consult widely on those potential measures.”

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