Ofgem and The Financial Services Authority (FSA) are investigating claims of price fixing by the country's biggest energy companies. The claim was made by a whistleblower who reportedly works for ICIS Heren, a company specialising in energy analysis and setting benchmark prices for the industry.
It is claimed that suspicious trading of gas prices took place on 28th September, at a time when information was being gathered to set the wholesale gas prices, these trades benefited the energy companies. Although concerns are only over trades on 28th September the whistleblower feels that price fixing is widespread.
Energy companies buy gas at wholesale prices and sell it on to business and domestic users, this wholesale price is a major part of users overall bill.
The allegations come as a blow to the energy industry whose companies have suffered from low consumer confidence following continuing price rises. Five of the 'big six' have already announced price rises to effect this winter ranging from 6% (British Gas) to as high as 11% (EDF).
The body that represents the UK energy companies, Energy UK, said its members will co-operate fully with any investigation.