Lack of competition 'biggest danger' to UK energy prices

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A lack of competition in the UK's energy market is one of the biggest causes of rising gas and electricity prices, according to the industry watchdog.

energywatch's chief executive, Allan Asher, added that the structure of the market is having more of an effect on energy prices than the recent rise in wholesale gas costs.

Speaking after British Gas warned about possible increases in tariffs owing to gas prices, Mr Asher stated that he felt that consumers were facing a "season of illwill".

"Gas is abundant; there is no scarcity or shortage of gas so there should be absolutely no need for its price to rise," he explained.

"The biggest danger to prices is not supply shortage but the structure of the market itself; with little or no real competition acting to press prices down."

Mr Asher's comments on energy price hikes have come after British Gas announced plans to increase rates in its MarketTracker, with gas prices increasing from 13 per cent for gas and 15 per cent for electricity.

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