Government moves to break up 'big six' energy suppliers

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Smaller energy suppliers will meet energy secretary, Chris Huhne MP, to discuss ways to break up the "big six" stranglehold on UK energy supplies.

The six biggest suppliers, British Gas, E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power, npower and Scottish and Southern - account for 99% of the UK's energy supply.

The Government is keen to get more small suppliers into the mainstream market. It hopes to create cheaper gas and electricity bills for consumers.

According to the Telegraph, Huhne said: "Our energy market has been too cosy for too long. We need more competition to keep bills down. It is madness that 99% of people get energy from the big six."

There are around twelve smaller UK suppliers - those with less than 100,000 customers.

The big six firms generate around 80% of the UK's energy, and supply 99% - so smaller firms feel they do not get to buy in smaller units of energy at a competitive price.

Ofgem is trying to get the big six to auction 20% of their self-generated energy, but many smaller firms believe this will be too little.

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