CMA Response

17 June 2015

In an open letter, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of OVO Energy tells the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that today’s market is failing energy customers.

_“Millions of people, many of them vulnerable, are being punished for their loyalty, paying hundreds of pounds more for their energy than they should ” _said Fitzpatrick

“This money is being used by the Big Six suppliers to hook in new customers with loss-leading tariffs. It’s a terrible way to treat customers, destroying at their expense.”

The open letter, sent to the Chair of the Energy Market Investigation, Roger Witcomb, contained OVO’s proposed remedies to fix the broken energy market.

The letter continued; “The situation is worsened by too many complex rules and regulations, which do little more than hold back nimbler, more customer-focused companies from competing.”

The independent supplier strongly believes in three solutions to make the energy market work better for everyone.

Fair pricing: Energy suppliers’ prices should reflect underlying costs. Suppliers should be stopped from overcharging loyal customers or running loss-leading tariffs that damage competition.

Simple Regulation: Regulation based on clear principles, with the priority being to avoid customer harm.

Protect the vulnerable: A regulated, annually-set social tariff that stops the most vulnerable customers from being exploited

Stephen Fitzpatrick commented:

“The CMA has a unique opportunity to repair the energy market for good.”

“For too long now the assumption has been that the CMA needs to break-up the Big Six, abolish vertical integration and fix the wholesale market.

“These have always been red herrings. It’s not the size of the Big Six that’s the issue. It’s the way they exploit their most loyal customers, charging what they think they can get away with when the customer isn’t looking.”

The CMA is expected to release its provisional findings on its Energy Market Investigation next week. OVO is the first energy supplier to publish its full Remedies Paper ahead of this.

Downloads and blogs:

OVO's Open Letter

OVO's Remedies Paper