Competition in energy markets — assessment framework
It is rare to hear someone argue that energy prices are low, or even that they are just right. The usual mantra is that energy prices are too high, that the energy market is dominated by a few large companies and that these companies unfairly skew the market for their own purposes. Although there is no hard evidence of the latter, nevertheless the view persists and there are an increasing number of calls from the government, from commentators and from the industry for a comprehensive review of the energy market.
In the five years following the introduction of competition into retail energy markets in 1999, the number of energy suppliers fell from 15 to six. As a result, a perceived problem with the market is that the ‘big six’ (British Gas, N Power, SSE, Scottish Power, E.ON and EDF) provide almost all household electricity and gas and control almost three quarters of electricity generation in the UK. Many commentators point to vertical integration (where supply and generation are controlled by the same organisations) as a key barrier to new entrants into the energy market. Further issues for consumers are that the process for switching suppliers can be complicated and the lack or type of information provided by large companies can exacerbate this problem.
Since 2008, Ofgem has undertaken two separate reviews of the UK’s gas and electricity retail markets and found in both reviews that features of the market such as high levels of market concentration with no significant ‘competitive fringe’ and a lack of engagement by customers weakened competition between providers…
If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Walker Morris briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from Walker Morris
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from Walker Morris
The Infrastructure Act is intended to boost investment in development projects. The practical and commercial implications of the new measures are wideranging.
In Andrew Parissis v Blair Court (St John’s Wood) Management, the judge in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) provided some useful guidance.
Analysis from The Lawyer
Which firms are cutting it in this era of slimline rosters, and who are the GC new brooms making clean sweeps? The Lawyer can reveal all
The law school war shows no signs of ending. But we have, perhaps, reached the end of the beginning.