The ‘big six’ energy companies will be forced to be more transparent about their profits and make it simpler for customers to switch providers, under plans for an annual competition check on the industry.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey will unveil plans for the yearly review later in the House of Commons.
He is expected to say the companies will be subject to rigorous checks in three key areas – competition, profit and customer engagement.
It follows a storm of controversy around energy prices after four of the big six companies raised prices by an average of 9.1%, causing customer bills to exceed £1,400 a year and leading to allegations of cartel behaviour.
The annual check is designed to drive up competition in the market, which is still heavily dominated by the big six.
Despite a number of new entrants to the market, British Gas, SSE, Powergen, EDF, E.ON and Scottish Power still provide gas and electricity to 99% of British homes.
The annual review will aim to crack down on practices seen as preventing new firms from entering the market.
One supposed method revealed earlier this week involved British Gas. The energy giant was said to have a dedicated team that contacted customers who had switched away and offered them lower rates to go back.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, managing director of Ovo Energy, made the claims at a select committee hearing in which companies faced MPs.
via Eagle Radio – The Station that Loves Surrey and Hampshire – News – Big Six To Be Forced To Make Switching Easier.