David Prosser: Ofgem's chance to settle the energy row

Outlook It was Centrica's turn yesterday, but ask any of the big six energy providers in the UK about profit margins and customer exploitation and you will get a similar answer: gas and electricity prices in the UK are lower than almost anywhere else in Europe, and countless – 15 or more – regulatory probes into the sector have passed without any substantive competition issues being identified.

Well, there is a challenge to Ofgem, which is next month due to announce the findings of the latest of these probes. The energy industry believes it is being targeted again because of political pressures on the regulator to be seen to be doing something about rising bills. Ofgem says not. Either way, we need a definitive, once-and-for-all view on competition and the structure of the market.

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