UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne is today holding a summit with smaller energy suppliers to help break the market dominance of the ‘Big Six’.
Energy suppliers including Ecotricity, Co-op Energy, First Utility, Good Energy, Ovo Energy and Utilita will meet with Huhne and chief executive of the energy regulator Ofgem, Alistair Buchanan, to explore what smaller suppliers need to be competitive with the Big Six and keep prices down.
Last month, the Government announced exemptions for small energy suppliers from schemes such as Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP).
“Our energy market has been too cosy for too long,” says Huhne. “We need more competition to keep bills down – it is madness that 99% of people get their energy from the Big Six.”
He warned that the current market simply isn’t delivering on price or on investment in new power generation capability.
“By meeting directly with the up-and-coming small energy suppliers we can ensure they have a fairer shot at breaking the dominance of the Big Six,” Huhne says. “I’ve told my officials to knuckle down with Ofgem and make reforms so consumers can have more choice and better deals for their gas and electricity.”
Ofgem has also reiterated its commitment to overhauling the energy market and in particular to simplify the situation for consumers. The regulator’s stance comes just days after ScottishPower announced plans to introduce price rises of 19% and 10% on gas and electricity bills later this summer.
The Government is due to publish its White Paper on electricity market reform in the coming days, which will set out the biggest shake-up of the market for decades.
For further information:
UK cuts red tape for small energy suppliers (13-Jun)
UK regulator to press ahead with overhaul of electricity and gas market (22-Jun)
07 July 2011