Welcome to the Love Energy Savings guide to the CMA & Ofgem Energy Probe. You may have heard about this investigation before and have been left wondering how it might affect the cost of the energy you use.
This guide will explain more about the Probe and what it means to you and how you can use our energy comparison site to find the best deal.
What is the CMA & Ofgem Energy Probe?
Ofgem launched the Energy Supply Probe in 2008 as a means of investigating the gas and electricity supply markets for homeowners and business owners. They referred the energy industry to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) because they believed the market to be working ineffectively and not in the best interest of its customers. At the time of writing, a decision is being made by Ofgem as to whether a full scale investigation needs to be launched by the CMA.
If you have ever used an energy comparison website, you will know there are essentially six (also named the Big Six) energy suppliers contending for your custom. They are British Gas, Eon, npower, Scottish Power, SSE and EDF.
The results of the Probe generally gave the Big Six a clean bill of health and said that whilst the industry was working very well in many areas - there was no evidence of a monopoly and the increase in energy prices was fair compared to wholesale costs - there were some areas that meant other smaller or less established energy suppliers were finding it hard to enter the market. Ofgem decided that the market was not operating in the best interests of energy customers.
After a lengthy consultation process, Ofgem put together a package of regulations that would help to improve the energy market and help customers to make better decisions and save money.
This package contained the following obligations on energy suppliers:
- to improve the information they made available to customers on their bills and annual statement
- to provide assistance to indebted and vulnerable customers who were blocked from switching suppliers due to arrears
- to improve their sales and marketing activities to be in the best interests of the customer
- to help small business customers by offering them more information about the terms and conditions in their contracts
What This Means for Energy Customers
If you have switched your energy supplier or you are thinking of switching energy suppliers, you may have found it difficult to get information about these deals or to make the right decision. If a full investigation is carried out by the CMA on the major energy companies, it could mean big changes ahead.
Don't forget, you can check out the latest switching deals available by choosing Love Energy Savings as your energy comparison site. We will bring you the latest news about the Ofgem Energy Probe and any other energy news that will be of benefit to you.