The term “The Big Six” is often coined to describe the six energy companies who currently supply approximately ninety-five percent of the UK households and businesses with electricity and gas. These six are E.ON UK, EDF Energy, British Gas, SEE, NPower and Scottish Power.
Ofgem, the energy regulatory body have reported concerns regarding whether or not the drop in energy prices this summer have, currently are and will continue to be passed onto customers.
In theory customers of the Big Six should benefit from the wholesale price being lowered however Ofgem are concerned that there is little or no evidence to suggest this has happened and so are working to encourage the companies under suspicion of profiteering to open their ledgers to closer scrutiny. Over the past five years Ofgem figures show that the six most dominant energy suppliers to the UK have, before tax has been taken and interest added collectively earned almost seventeen billion pounds.
These figures are partly what has propelled Ofgem into action, demanding to see more detailed accounts including breakdowns of individual divisions and spends so that they might better assess whether consumers have been treated fairly in regards to benefiting from global price drops.
While Ofgem do not have the authority to force companies to alter the tariffs they offer customers the concerns over potential with-holding of discounts and lower prices have been serious enough for Ofgem to call the issue to the attention of the Competition and Markets Authority.
While Ofgem are still hard at work, liaising with the Big Six and relevant bodies to encourage transparency in this matter questions regarding whether consumers have essentially received a raw deal are still unanswered. It may be reported however that of the Big Six, the three foreign-owned companies supplying to the UK, E.ON, NPower and EDF have still not agreed to full disclosure.