Tim Yeo, chairman of the Energy Committee, has said that an ongoing investigation into the UK’s ‘Big Six’ energy companies should extend into looking at commercial gas prices, too. A senior figure in Westminster, Yeo has taken umbrage with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the organisation tasked with running the inquiry, and their approach to investigating the energy market.
The official line from the CMA is that ‘not minded to investigate’ the wholesale gas market, however, Yeo said the whole investigation would be “compromised from the outset” if wholesale gas prices weren’t considered as a factor in the investigation.
Yeo mentioned that gas is the leading source of power for heating homes in the UK and the dominant fuel that powers the UK electricity network, so avoiding looking into wholesale prices for that particular energy source would only tell some of the story.
Indeed, as we wrote at the start of the year, it was wholesale gas prices which sparked the investigation in the first place, after energy market regulator Ofgem expressed concerns that reductions in gas prices weren’t passed on as savings to UK consumers, and the effectiveness of competition in the sector.
“I am surprised that the CMA has suggested that it is ‘not minded to investigate’ the wholesale gas market, and I am writing to urge it to reconsider,” wrote Mr Yeo.
Though nothing has been made public yet, the CMA has announced that it will be responding directly to Mr Yeo.