Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Committee

5 February 2008 (PN 19)


Committee to investigate possible anti-competitive behaviour in the UK’s energy market

Following its oral evidence hearing on energy prices with the Minister of State for Energy, Malcolm Wicks MP, the Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Committee is today announcing a full scale inquiry into the structure of the energy market. The issues it intends to consider, among others, are:

• Whether the current market structure encourages effective competition in the retail markets for gas and electricity;

• Whether there is effective competition in the wholesale markets for gas and electricity;

• The implications of growing consolidation in the energy market;

• The relationship between the wholesale and retail markets for electricity and gas;

• The interaction between the UK and European energy markets;

• The effectiveness of regulatory oversight of the energy market; and

• Progress in reducing fuel poverty and the appropriate policy instruments for doing so.

The Chairman of the Committee, Peter Luff MP, said:

“The continuing controversy over energy prices is an issue that demands to be addressed. It is a complex but vital question and one that affects everyone in the country-individual consumers and households, small businesses and major energy users alike.”

The Committee invites written memoranda on the above points and any other related matters on which those submitting evidence may wish to respond. These should be sent, as an MS Word document, by e-mail to [email protected] with a single hard copy sent to the Clerk of the Committee at the address above by 1 April 2008.

Once submitted evidence is the property of the Committee and should not be published without the Committee’s consent. The Committee will usually publish evidence it receives, both in printed form and on the Internet. If you wish your evidence to remain confidential, please contact the Committee staff. Before submitting evidence, please read the guide to submission of written evidence at:

Further Information:

As a consequence of machinery of government changes announced in June 2007, the Department of Trade and Industry ceased to exist and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform was created. Following this decision, the Trade and Industry Committee was dissolved and a successor committee was created, with the following membership:

Chairman: Peter Luff MP (Con) (Mid Worcestershire)
Mr Adrian Bailey (Lab) (West Bromwich West)
Roger Berry (Lab) (Kingswood)
Mr Brian Binley (Con) (Northampton South)
Mr Michael Clapham (Lab) (Barnsley West and Pen.)
Mr Lindsay Hoyle (Lab) (Chorley)
Mark Hunter (Lib Dem) (Cheadle)
Miss Julie Kirkbride (Con) (Bromsgrove)
Anne Moffat (Lab) (East Lothian)
Mr Mike Weir (SNP) (Angus)
Mr Anthony Wright (Lab) (Great Yarmouth)

Media Enquiries: Laura Humble, Tel 0207 219 2003/ 07917 488 489, email: [email protected]

Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 5777, email: [email protected]