Page 6: Conclusion
Evidence to date suggests that deregulation is proving successful in the gas and electricity industries. Prices are falling, competition is increasing, customers are switching, and new suppliers are establishing significant market shares.
Consumers can now choose from among more than 20 suppliers of gas and electricity. Ofgem is working to ensure that consumers are kept aware of their choices. Suppliers are being required to improve the clarity of their advertising and, under the new Utilities Act, a Gas and Electricity Consumers Council will have a remit to ‘maximise the benefits of competition’ for consumers.
Competition in the gas industry has existed for over four years. A recent Ofgem survey of the supply of gas to industrial and commercial users found that more than 30 shippers and suppliers were now in the market. Competition in electricity is only just over one year old, but more than 25 firms are already involved, so overall the signs there are equally encouraging.