Ofgem reveals plans to make energy market a more level playing field

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Ofgem has unveiled its plans to make the electricity market a much more level playing field.

The energy regulator is looking to break the monopoly the 'Big Six' energy providers hold on the market by increasing the level of competition with a series of regulation changes.

The regulator will also require the two largest UK independent power generators to trade fairly with much smaller suppliers.

Under such proposals, the 'Big Six' firms will now have to post the prices they pay on wholesale electricity up to two years in advance.

Ofgem senior partner for markets, Andrew Wright, said: "Our aim is to improve consumer confidence and choice by putting strong pressure on prices through increased competition in the energy market.

"Ofgem's proposals will break the stranglehold of the 'Big Six' in the retail market and create a more level playing field for independent suppliers, who will get a fair deal when they want to buy and sell power up to two years ahead."

Through the changes, energy suppliers such as British Gas, nPower, EDF and their other 'Big Six' cohorts will be obliged to trade at the listed prices, giving smaller independent suppliers and generators more opportunity to compete. Ofgem has the power to fine a company that doesn't comply with such regulations.

Energy secretary, Ed Davey, said: "I want our energy market to be as competitive as possible.

"An increased role and level playing field for independent suppliers and generators is precisely what will help drive the competition that delivers better value for consumers and businesses."

The Big Six firms and a number of other energy providers are working alongside the Government as part of its Green Deal initiative.

Through the scheme, homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home can seek the equivalent of a loan on things such as loft insulation or a new boiler, paying it back through their bills at a rate reflecting the money the measures taken would save.

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