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The findings of an investigation into the energy industry are to be delayed, provisionally until January 2016. What does this mean for your business energy?
The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) investigation has been extended by 6 months from 25 December 2015 to 25 June 2016, although it aims to publish its provisional decision on remedies in January 2016 with a view to reaching its final decision by the end of April 2016, the CMA said on its website.
The delay is partially due to the many “detailed responses” received from suppliers, consumer groups, the Government and regulators to the provisional findings and range of potential ‘remedies’ published in July (our analysis may help clarify the technicalities).
The review may have far reaching implications: remedies could go as far as enforcing the break-up of energy suppliers if it finds they are breaching competition rules. “As the most comprehensive investigation into the energy market since privatisation, this is a once in a generation opportunity to shape the future of this market for the better. It’s important that we get it right,” said Roger Witcomb, Chairman of the energy market investigation.
With so much at stake, the CMA wants to ensure it has sufficient time to combine analysis of responses with further evidence-gathering, aiming for “as comprehensive a solution as reasonable and practicable”.
The CMA’s provisional findings identified a large number of areas where there might be a competition problem, including a possible lack of consumer engagement in both domestic and microbusiness sectors, the ‘four tariffs rule’, the Department of Energy and Climate CHange’s (DECC) processes for allocating clean energy subsidies, the industry’s gas and electricity settlement systems, the roles of Ofgem and DECC in regulatory decision-making, locational pricing of electricity, and energy code governance. “We now need to refine our analysis in the light of the many responses we have received, to design potential measures that are effective and proportionate to remedy each possible issue, and then to consult widely on those potential measures,” Witcombe added.
“This is a huge programme of work and we have concluded that we could not complete it by the original statutory deadline. We have therefore decided there are special reasons for extending the reference period which will allow us some extra time to finish the job.”
Better regulation is long overdue in the business energy sector, as SwitchMyBusiness.com has previous argued. The delay to the publication of findings shows how complicated action in this area can be. Enforcing remedies could be even more time consuming.
In the meantime, many small to medium sized businesses are missing out on lower energy prices. To compare business energy suppliers can take just 20 minutes: give us a call on 0330 0100 251 (or request a call back using our form).
"Very easy. Bea Luseni very efficient & knowledgeable."This review was posted by Alan Duffy on the 31st of March 2017
Super helpful and easy to work with
"Recommend this company in a heartbeat - Nicole Borneuf was super easy to talk to, was not pushy in the slightest, very helpful and replied with all my questions very professionally and did all she could to help. I had to deal with a few companies to sort my business energy out, all but Nicole were too pushy for my liking and I refused to follow through with them. Thank Nicole - you are a credit to your company, thank you for making the stressful energy change so easy."This review was posted by Mia Drew on the 29th of March 2017
An Extremely Competent Company
"Switch my business has not only helped my SME secure a good energy deal for the second year running but Jessica swiftly found a alternative supplier for me when I was let down on the day of switching by the new contractual provider I had chosen some 4 months previously. Being suddenly out of contract and without provider is everyone's energy nightmare. Greatest thanks."This review was posted by S McMillan on the 29th of March 2017
Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!
"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017
Quick & Easy
"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017