Figures released by Ofgem show the companies that dominate power generation and supply have had combined earnings before interest and tax of almost £17bn over the past five years. It is demanding independent auditing of annual accounts – broken down into individual divisions – as well as the faster release of figures and more details on corporate cost structures.
Senior Ofgem officials said they could not dictate energy tariffs but expressed concern that a fall in wholesale gas and electricity prices over the summer was not passed on. “What we are not seeing is any reduction in the standard tariff … yet again that raises the question about whether there is competition in the market,” said Rachel Fletcher, senior partner at Ofgem’s market division. She said this validated the decision to refer the six – E.ON, npower, Scottish Power, SSE, Centrica and EDF – to the Competition and Markets Authority.
The recently announced “most radical set of reforms” aren’t quite working out. It is hard to tell if Ofgem is incompetent or simply corrupt.