The Big Six power suppliers have welcomed Ofgem’s decision to refer them to the competition authorities for an investigation.
“We want an energy market that is trusted by customers and we believe that an in-depth and thorough review by an independent and respected authority can help to achieve this,” Centrica CEO Sam Laidlaw said.
SSE CEO Alistair Phillips-Davies added the probe would be an important opportunity to “address any issues of public concern and deliver good outcomes for consumers and a stable framework for investors.”
E.ON UK CEO Tony Cocker and EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz said their firms had been calling for such an investigation since 2011.
“It is hoped that with this process we can all take another step along the road towards ensuring clear outcomes and restoring confidence,” Mr Cocker said.
Mr Rivaz added his company “will not be defensive” but approach the investigation “with an open mind”.
Earlier this year Ofgem proposed to refer the industry for an investigation, saying competition between suppliers “is not working as well as it could.”
Paul Massara, CEO of npower said: “British consumers deserve a full, comprehensive, vigorous and politically unbiased investigation as only then will everyone involved be able to rebuild confidence in energy in the UK.”
Chief Corporate Officer of ScottishPower Keith Anderson added the investigation provides an opportunity to “clear the air” so consumer and investors can have confidence in the sector.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will begin the investigation immediately and is likely to publish final decisions by the end of next year.
Richard Lloyd, Executive Director of consumer group Which? said the CMA inquiry was a “watershed moment for the broken energy market and millions of people struggling to cope with spiralling bills”.