Energy Secretary Chris Huhne today gave the regulator his backing for its intended market reforms.
Earlier today Ofgem’s Chief Executive Alistair Buchanan said that the energy companies were letting down their customers with highly-priced, confusing tariffs.
Mr Huhne said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the regulator Ofgem’s announcements today. With households and businesses facing rising energy prices, I want to see more clarity in billing to help consumers shop around and switch to the best deal. People can save hundreds of pounds a year by shopping around right now. We are also working with Ofgem to sweep away the barriers to new companies entering the energy market so consumers can benefit from greater competition.”
Speaking at the Energy Select Committee, Energy Minister Charles Hendry was cautious in how best to deal with the Big Six: “We recognise we need these companies, they are established and we want them to invest further. But we need additional players in the market to increase competition for consumers. I don’t think it’s a case of breaking up the Big Six but instead adding more players.”
However, Committee member John Robertson MP questioned whether this would do enough: “The prices are all the same, so where’s the competition now? We’re basically working with a cartel.”