Ofgem proposes U.K. energy market competition investigation

|By:, SA News Editor

Ofgem, the U.K.'s electricity and gas markets regulator, is asking the country's competition authority to investigate the energy sector amid heavy political criticism of rising domestic fuel bills.

Profits at the U.K.'s biggest six utilities including Centrica (CPYYF) and SSE (SSEZF) have climbed to £1.1B in 2012, nearly 5x higher than 2009, Ofgem says, "with no clear evidence of suppliers becoming more efficient in reducing their own costs."

Ofgem says the review also should consider whether big utilities' power generation and distribution arms should be separated.