Ed Davey: energy firms will be punished if allegations proved true

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UK energy secretary Ed Davey has told members of the House of Commons to steer away from prejudicing regulators investigations into the alleged price rigging in the gas market.

He also suggested that it was unlikely gas consumers would receive any kind of compensation if the allegations were to be proved true - but energy firms could be forced to pay customers back with lower energy bills instead.

Davey faced a barrage of questions from MPs relating to whether, if the claims were proved accurate, bill payers would be recompensed for paying bills higher than they should have.

In response, he suggested that whilst the Energy Bill - to be published later this month - would permit fines, which could then potentially be passed back on to the customer, at present these were solely in the hands of regulator Ofgem, who keep any money from fines that they impose.

He said that the Government would: "support the regulators taking whatever steps necessary to ensure the full force of the law is applied if it is found that prices have been deliberately distorted."

Since the news broke earlier in the week, further so-called whistleblowers have since come forward to raise their concerns about the issue - in what is likely to be thorn in the side of energy providers for a considerable time to come.

The comments are in response to the allegations from whistleblowers suggesting that  gas providers were guilty of fixing their prices at the end of September, the end of the financial year for the gas sector.

The 'Big Six' energy providers, all part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme, have all released statements denying any involvement in such actions.

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