Within the past three years the cost of energy for the average household has risen by an unbelievable 58% which has prompted government to question why. A formal inquiry is in the works as three of the big six open their books up to government scrutiny.
Public mistrust is at an all-time high which is what most likely prompted those three utilities to open themselves up to investigation. As well, the energy secretary went as far as making the allegation that those huge energy providers were in collusion with predatory pricing.
In order to ward off further bad press, three of the big six have come forward to restore public confidence. Chief executive of RWE Npower, Volker Beckers, stated that if government thinks that an inquiry will clarify the situation then he is all for it.
Beckers feels that it is time to move on and since the company has nothing to hide, it’s time they did what they have to do in order for his company to move on with their focus on providing low carbon energy to the UK. Both Npower and another of those opening their books to scrutiny, and both companies are UK subsidiaries of German companies.
The first to welcome an official inquiry, EDF, is also a subsidiary, but this time the energy giant is French. Oddly, while half of the big six welcome an investigation, Ofgem is opposed. The energy regulator did not call for a Competition Commission in March (their last retail energy review) and a spokesperson reported this week that they had not changed their position and were not ready to pursue an investigation.
Although three of the six welcome a formal inquiry, it does not look as though one will be forthcoming in the very near future even if this is what it would take to end the controversy over pricing. An inquiry would most likely reveal whether or not the big six was involved in antitrust violations in terms of price fixing.