This is the biggest investigation of the British energy markets since privatisation and deregulation began in the 1980s. But the inquiry, triggered last week by a trio of watchdogs led by Ofgem and to be undertaken by the new Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) immediately sparked dire warnings that go to the heart of Britain’s energy policy paralysis.
British Gas owner Centrica and a raft of analysts said a probe that could last two years will freeze investment in much-needed power stations and make blackouts more likely. Ofgem and energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey countered that a proper and full investigation would clear the air and rebuild trust among consumers.
Six big questions that the British energy industry must answer