The results are in. The outcome of the long-awaited energy market assessment was released today and it’s good news for the 45,000 of you who backed our Fix the Big Six campaign. But we haven’t won yet…
Ofgem has decided that the energy market should be referred to a full scale competition inquiry.
The assessment found that retail profits increased sharply between 2009 and 2012 with little evidence of increasing efficiency from the suppliers.
It also expressed concern that the structure of the market means that it doesn’t work for the good of its customers.
We hope that this provides an opportunity to quickly address and resolve the underlying problems of a fundamentally broken energy market. We know that energy prices are consistently at the top of consumer concerns, and we know that levels of trust in the energy industry are at disastrously low levels – just one in five of you think your energy provider will act in your best interests.
A competitive energy market?
The inquiry has to take a long hard look at a structure that allows big energy companies to keep a stranglehold on vast swathes of the market.
The practice of buying and selling energy to themselves should be brought to an end and this can only be done by separating the supply and generation parts of their businesses, just as SSE committed to doing yesterday. This would add a level of transparency to the market and would provide a much greater degree of confidence that we’re being charged a fair price for the energy we use. Plus, SSE’s action proves that suppliers don’t have to wait to be forced to act – they can do so on their own right now.
Rebuilding trust in the energy market
The process of rebuilding trust in a market that has taken all of us for granted will take time, but this is a crucial first step. It’s good news that the regulators have listened to the tens of thousands of people who have supported our Fix the Big Six campaign. We now need the investigation to work quickly to expose what’s really happening in the energy market and confirm where competition is lacking.
We’ll be working hard to ensure your voice is being heard throughout the investigation, and we’ll continue to argue for radical reforms to ensure that the market works competitively for everyone – especially for the millions struggling with spiralling bills.
What do you think about today’s announcement? Is this the start of a journey towards an energy market that works in your best interest?