Huhne champions small suppliers

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has called a meeting with small and new energy suppliers to find out what needs to be done to increase participation in power generation and supply […]

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By Tom Gibson

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has called a meeting with small and new energy suppliers to find out what needs to be done to increase participation in power generation and supply markets. He says breaking the dominance of the Big Six will keep energy prices for households down.

Chris Huhne said: “Our energy market has been too cosy for too long. I’m calling a summit of independent energy suppliers so the small guys have an equal chance to bid for your business. We need more competition to keep bills down – it is madness that 99% of people get their energy from the Big 6.

Having written to the Chief Executives of small energy suppliers Mr Huhne has organised a meeting with ministers, officials and energy regulator Ofgem at the Department of Energy and Climate Change on 7th July.

Mr Huhne said that encouraging new entrants was essential for improving the UK energy markets: “Over the next decade we need double our normal energy investment to replace old power stations and keep the lights on. Doing nothing isn’t an option – addiction to more foreign gas will put us at risk of oil and gas price shocks. The current market simply can’t deliver, so we need more companies and more competition to keep price rises as low as possible.”

The Government estimates that the energy systems in place require a huge revamp, costing up to £200bn. The costs will deal with losing a quarter of the UK’s generating capacity as old coal and nuclear plants close over the next ten years.