UK Energy Secretary seeks to allay concerns of small energy suppliers

Posted at November 29, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK Energy Secretary seeks to allay concerns of small energy suppliers

On the day that the UK government’s long-awaited Energy Bill is officially launched, Energy Secretary Ed Davey is hosting a summit for small, independent energy supplier to voice their concerns.

The Whitehall meeting with representatives from Co-operative Energy, Cornwall Energy Associates, Ecotricity, First Utility, Good Energy, Haven Power, Loco2 Energy, Opus Energy, Smartest Energy, Spark Energy and Utilita, as well as energy regulator Ofgem, will discuss the barriers to new entrants to the energy market and how they can be overcome.

Discussions will also cover how smaller independent suppliers can grow their share of a market dominated by the ‘Big Six’ energy companies.

For example, the government is keen to encourage more collective buying on the part of local communities, which could be a boon for independent suppliers.

“As a long-time proponent of collective purchasing, I am delighted to see some of the smaller suppliers already winning customers through early collective switching initiatives,” says Davey.

In addition, Davey will want to assess how the Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to offer all customers the cheapest tariff could impact on the operation of smaller suppliers.

But the main focus will undoubtedly be on the Energy Bill and how the government’s plans to reform and reorganise the energy market will affect independent energy suppliers.

“I want our energy market to be as competitive as possible,” said Davey in a statement. “That’s why I want to be sure that we make it as easy as possible for new players to break into the UK market, and that if there are any barriers to that, we do everything we can to remove them.”

But critics are concerned that the new regime will actually make it harder for emerging energy companies to enter the market and existing companies may find it hard to manage the new Contracts for Difference (CfD) regulatory regime.

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Related stories:
Good Energy launches electricity tariff for customers near wind farm (19-Nov)
Energy companies’ UK investment hits 20-year high (29-Oct)
UK government looks for advice on helping independent generators (9-Jul)
UK Energy Secretary calls summit for small energy suppliers (7-Jul 2011)

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