On the announcement yesterday (26 June) that the gas and electricity regulator Ofgem has referred the energy market to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for a full investigation, the national fuel poverty charity Energy Action Scotland has welcomed the move.
“The investigation of the energy market by the CMA should go a long way towards rebuilding the trust of consumers in their energy supplier.
“With so many price increases and some negative publicity over the past several years, an independent opinion on the fairness of energy bills and how the energy market operates will give much-needed reassurance to consumers.
“It is important that all efforts are made to ensure that energy bills are kept as low as possible for consumers while also achieving a high level of customer service.”
“ScottishPower is a strong supporter of competition and therefore supports reviewing the way competition is working and checking thoroughly for any barriers to its effective operation.
“It’s really important that any changes are based on rigorous and careful study of the evidence. The CMA is absolutely the right body to do this in-depth work.
“We believe that the CMA investigation provides a real opportunity to clear the air, so that going forward, consumers and investors alike can have confidence in the sector”.
EnergyUK too welcomed the referral and said that it will give an opportunity to ‘clear the air’. It will allow the energy industry to address domestic customer issues and bring forward serious impact studies of policies.
- Rebuild and restore customer faith in the market;
- Be clear about what are the responsibilities of the companies, and what is out of the companies’ control: e.g. the wholesale market costs, policy costs, tax; and
- Shine a light on what is required as an investment return and what are profits.
Angela Knight said:
“The competition inquiry will allow us to put to bed the toxic debate and shine a light on the progress the industry has already made.
“There are now more companies than ever in the market, switching is on the up especially to smaller suppliers and the industry is making it easier than ever for customers to engage with their company.”