6 July 2011 | Adam Leach
Energy secretary Chris Huhne will meet small-scale energy suppliers this week
in a bid to make the UK gas and electricity market more accessible to them.
Supplier talks will be held at Departmentof Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) offices tomorrow as part of the minister’s plan to boost competition in the energy market
and lower bills for consumers.
Representatives from Ovo Energy, First Utility, Ecotricity, Co-Op Energy and
Good Energy have been invited to attend.
While there is no formal agenda for the summit, Huhne will be looking to learn
from the “up and coming companies” about what barriers are holding them back
from entering the market.
The UK market is dominated by Britain’s ‘big six,’ namely: E.ON, Centrica, RWE
npower, ScottishPower, EDF Group and Scottish and Southern Energy.
Huhne said: “Our energy market has been too cosy for too long. I’m calling a
summit of independent energy suppliers so the small guys have an equal chance
to bid. We need more competition to keep bills down – it is madness that 99 per
cent of people get their energy from the big six.”
The summit follows the move by DECC to cut back on the amount of red tape for
small suppliers. Last month, the department raised the threshold that requires
companies to sign up to the CERT & Community Energy Saving Programme from
50,000 customers to 250,000 customers.
- Next month energy watchdog Ofgem plans to appoint accountants to scrutinise the financial accounts of the big six UK energy suppliers. They will assess whether the financial accounts, submitted annually by the firms to Ofgem, are transparent enough. It follows a trend of the big six to cite rising wholesale price pressures as a reason for increasing gas and electricity bills.