Ofgem ramps up probe into energy pricing

Energy regulator Ofgem has ramped up its investigation into the ’big six’ suppliers by hiring specialist accountants BDO to examine how their profits are calculated.


BDO will investigate British Gas, Npower, E.on, EDF, Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern Energy’s wholesale prices and trading profits to see whether profits in their retail divisions have been underestimated in order to justify higher bill prices.

The appointment is part of the wider review of the retail utilities market Ofgem launched in March.

At the time, Ofgem said it had evidence that the big six had increased prices in response to rising commodity costs more quickly than they had reduced them when those costs fell.

BDO’s investigation is expected to last four months and will report its findings by the end of the year.

Scottish Power, Scottish & Southern Energy, British Gas, E.on and Npower have all announced prices increases, averaging at about 15% for the year, this month.

EDF is the only energy supplier of the big six not to have increased its energy prices in recent weeks. The company ran a series of full-page adverts across the Sunday’s and today’s (22 August) newspapers saying: “Beat the energy price rises. EDF Energy’s Fixed Price 2014 tariff is cheaper than all other major suppliers’ new standard prices”.

Separately, Ofgem fined British Gas a massive £2.5m last month for the way it had mishandled customer complaints, in addition to a £1m fine misreporting to the government the amount of electricity it supplies.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here