Suffolk: Competition investigation into energy market welcomed by MP
Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has welcomed the announcement that the energy market will be subject to a full competition investigation.
The review, announced by energy watchdog Ofgem, will be carried out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and will investigate whether competition is working effectively enough for consumers, bearing down on prices.
Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan said: “This will help rebuild consumer trust and confidence in the energy market as well as provide the certainty investors have called for.
“The energy market is also going to change rapidly over the next few years with the roll-out of smart meters, the Government’s electricity market reforms, and closer integration with European energy markets.”
Dr Coffey said: “This review is timely particularly after recent polling indicated over a third of consumers in the East of England do not trust their electricity supplier.
“This is of concern, particularly when we know that energy companies are big investors and employers in Suffolk like EDF at Sizewell and SSE with its offshore wind farms. We need to ensure that the market works for consumers.
“I am pleased that energy companies, such as EDF, have also welcomed the inquiry which will provide confidence for investors to help secure the long sustainability of our energy market.”
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As well as assisting the CMA, Ofgem will continue its work to protect consumers including pushing forward on next-day switching, improving the support available for vulnerable consumers in finding the best energy deal and continuing to ensure that consumers make the most of recent reforms to make the market simpler, clearer and fairer.
The announcement came as official figures showed the price paid for electricity by households in the first three months of 2014 was almost 6% higher than in 2013.
Domestic gas prices have also risen, up almost 5% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, the figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change revealed.
Final decisions from the investigation are likely to be published by the end of 2015.