Ovo boss slams ‘Big Six monopoly’

The reason there isn’t more competition in the UK energy retail market is because currently the Big Six operate an inherited monopoly. This was according to new player Ovo Energy’s […]

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By Tom Gibson

The reason there isn’t more competition in the UK energy retail market is because currently the Big Six operate an inherited monopoly. This was according to new player Ovo Energy’s boss, Stephen Fitzpatrick, who said current generators use their profits to trap customers.

Speaking at the Future Energy Strategies event this week, the founder of the relatively new generator said that more entrants would be welcomed: “There is no competitive market. In the last 13 years there hasn’t been a successful new entrant. 15 companies went down to six.”

Mr Fitzpatrick said it was “common practice” to offer new customers special deals and then increase the rate after the first year and for generators to prevent existing customers from signing up to the most competitive rates, which can result in existing customers subsiding new customers. He said the solution would be to prevent the Big Six having such a wide spectrum of price.

The ex- J.P. Morgan man said the resulting confusion has led to a breakdown in the consumer-supplier relationship, which is why Ovo offer only two tariffs. Founded in 2009, Ovo have 50,000 customers already.