Centrica refutes Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) findings that customers could have been historically overpaying £1.7billion a year.
The CMA’s report found British households could have been overpaying by around £1.7billion a year.
It also said the Big Six providers have been taking existing customers – 70% of whom are stuck on standard variable rate deals – for granted.
It recommended a temporary price cap for low income and vulnerable customers who have pre-payment meters, and plans to launch an Ofgem-controlled database allowing rival suppliers to offer those on standard variable rates (SVRs) for three years or more better deals.
However, Centrica’s refuted the overpayment scheme, stating in an official statement: “Centrica has contributed constructively to what has been an in-depth and challenging investigation by the CMA, and will continue to do so.
“Although the UK market is already very competitive, we believe that, provided they are implemented thoughtfully, the majority of the CMA’s proposed remedies which seek to promote competition and drive innovation should further enhance competition and benefit our customers. We continue to disagree with the CMA’s findings that customers historically could have been overpaying by about £1.7billion a year.”
Chief executive Iain Conn added: “We have provided strong evidence to the CMA that the UK energy supply market is competitive and achieving positive outcomes for consumers.
“Delivering for our customers is at the heart of what we do at Centrica. We are determined to ensure that our company, and the market in which we operate, best serve energy consumers. That’s why Centrica offers competitive pricing, is investing in service and is leading the market in innovations to put customers in control of their energy usage and bills.
“The CMA’s proposed remedies are now subject to consultation. We believe that, provided they are implemented thoughtfully, the majority will benefit our customers. We will work through the full report once we have it and submit a formal response in line with the required timetable.”
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said the CMA’s proposals were a “wake-up call to the Big Six”.
She said: “Energy customers should get a fair deal from a market that works for them. That’s why we called for the biggest ever investigation into the energy market and won’t hesitate to take forward its recommendations.”