Regulator proposes 'radical' change to British energy market
Britain's energy regulator on Friday unveiled proposals for a radical reform of the country's retail gas and electricity market to win more transparency for customers and greater company competition.
"Simple tariffs, clearer bills and annual statements will be the result of the radical reform model proposed by energy regulator Ofgem," the watchdog said in a statement.
Ofgem said that the average domestic gas and electricity bill had shot up to £1,345 ($2,122, 1,540 euros) a year. It added that energy companies make an average profit of £125 per customer per year, up from only £15 in June.
Energy companies operating in Britain have in recent months massively increased the amounts they charge customers, blaming the moves on a surge in the cost of purchasing gas and electricity on wholesale markets.
"When consumers face energy bills at around £1,345 they must have complete confidence that this price is set by companies competing in a fully competitive market. At the moment that is not the case," Ofgems chief executive Alistair Buchanan said in a statement.
"That is why a radical break with the past is needed. Ofgem's tariff reforms offer the quickest way to create a market where consumers can have confidence that prices are set by effective competition," he added.
Ofgem said it would publish more detailed proposals in November and hopes that some of its plans could be implemented by late 2012 "providing the industry get fully behind" the reforms.
© 2011 AFP