Energy MP slams ‘toothless’ report into Big Six by competition watchdog

Big Six logo montageMP Tim Yeo, Chairman of the Westminster parliamentary Energy Committee, has criticised a lacklustre report into competition in UK energy markets by the Competition Market Authority (CMA) watchdog.

Yesterday, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published an update on its investigation into energy retail, said Britain’s liberalisation and heavy regulation of electricity and gas had influenced competition and several issues would be probed further.

The report also said that it not found any evidence of monopolistic pricing and profits by the Big Six energy suppliers which dominate the UK market, and whilst the industry was working very well in many areas there were some areas that meant other smaller or less established energy suppliers were finding it hard to enter the market

But Yeo said last night: “The Energy and Climate Change Committee has repeatedly highlighted the need for greater competition in the energy market since the last general election.

“We did not need the Competition Market Authority to spend months and probably millions of pounds examining the market to tell us that more people need to switch energy supplier.

“We already knew there was problem for so called sticky customers who are charged more by companies because they do not shop around and switch.

“I will look forward to reading the CMA’s eventual conclusions but I am staggered that it currently appears so sanguine about the lack of transparency in the operation of the big six vertically integrated energy companies that control around 90% of the market.

“Although this is perhaps unsurprising given the CMA’s reluctance to look at the operation of the gas wholesale market that provides much of the fuel for our electricity system. We continue to regret this reluctance.

“The CMA will need to publish a detailed explanation of how it has reached its conclusions when it publishes its full findings if it is to put minds at ease about the operation of the energy market.”

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed