The findings from the investigation into the energy market is a “watershed moment” for the industry, according to the head a consumer body.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today revealed the UK’s Big Six energy companies could be overcharging customers by up to £234 a year.
Richard Lloyd, Executive Director of Which? said: “This is a watershed moment for the energy market as the CMA confirms what we’ve known all along: that competition is not working for consumers.
He is calling on the CMA to come up with solutions “to repair the market” and make it work for everyone and not just suppliers, adding: “This must include establishing a fair price that people can trust, to restore consumer confidence in the energy system.”
Regulator Ofgem referred the market to the CMA last year following allegations the Big Six were making excessive profits and ripping customers off.
A spokesperson said: “Ofgem is determined to make the energy market work for consumers and ensure that there is vigorous competition which bears down on prices and drives up standards of service.”
Energy Secretary Ed Davey is urging consumers to shop around and switch for a better deal.
He added: “The thrust of the report seems in tune with the action we are already taking to drive competition in the energy sector. Our reforms to the market have all been about greater choice, backing new firms challenging the Big SIx and putting pressure on energy companies to put their customers first.”
The trade body for the energy industry sad it continues to support the work of the CMA and has already introduced “a range of voluntary measures, moving towards greater openness and transparency”.
A spokesperson added: “The industry will review today’s releases over the coming weeks with a view to engaging further with the investigation. Individual members will be able to contribute to the debate as the rest of the investigation progresses.”
Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint said a Labour Government would freeze energy prices from rising and “give the regulator the power to make sure that customers get a fair deal”.