Watchdog backs down over halt to gas sales
Wednesday 28 January 1998
Ofgas last week asked the power companies to stop selling gas in their regions after a complaint from Centrica, the British Gas supply group. Centrica was concerned that the five-month delay to electricity competition meant it would lose gas customers, but would be prevented from signing up electricity customers.
But electricity companies had refused to comply with the regulator's request, threatening a lengthy MMC investigation. John Devaney, chairman of Eastern Group, the largest UK power company, said Ofgas had "backed right off" over the issue. "Our legal advice showed Ofgas had no jurisdiction in this. This was about Ofgas protecting Centrica."
ScottishPower welcomed Ofgas's move, which came after a meeting on Monday with the Electricity Association. A ScottishPower spokeswoman continued: "Common sense has prevailed. This is great news for customers. We will carry on selling gas."
Under the compromise the power groups agreed in return to stop special offers to existing electricity customers, giving homes extra discounts if they signed up to receive both fuels. An Ofgas spokesman said it would review the domestic gas market in the summer and could still take suppliers to the MMC if they were guilty of creating "undue restrictions" on competition, such as cross-subsidies between the two fuels.
However, Mr Devaney said this warning could equally apply to British Gas. He said Eastern was considering requesting an MMC or European Commission investigation into British Gas's business. Mr Devaney argued British Gas was likely to emerge with 80 per cent of the domestic gas market after full competition, and called for its business to be broken up.
- 1 Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 4 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 5 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, F...