EDF Energy responds to OFGEM’s market investigation announcement
EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz first called for an independent competition inquiry into the gas and electricity market in September 2011. He said then that it was vital to address the persistent and widespread lack of trust among the public, customers and policy-makers.
Today he said: "Our industry should approach the proposed market investigation with an open mind. We must not be defensive.
“An inquiry won’t restore trust by itself. Earning trust remains the prime responsibility of the energy companies who deal directly with their customers every day. However, the inquiry will be an important opportunity to establish the facts in a wholly transparent way. EDF Energy will demonstrate that we are acting fairly in the interests of customers.
“At a time when the structure of companies supplying gas and electricity is under scrutiny, we need to show the benefits to customers of businesses that invest, generate, trade and supply energy.
“We help ensure security of supply in an increasingly complex and volatile world energy market at a time when recent events in Ukraine remind us that this remains an issue.
“Companies like EDF Energy with a view of the whole system are best placed to meet customers’ straightforward need for clean, reliable power at a fair price. We are also able to take a long term view and have the scale and commitment to make the big investments needed for the UK’s energy future.
"To meet this huge challenge, we are investing in extending the lives of Britain’s 15 low carbon nuclear reactors, building new wind and gas electricity generation, as well as preparing for the first in a new generation of nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in Somerset. We are also investing to make sure our coal stations remain available to keep the lights on until new sources of low carbon electricity generation are ready to take their place.
“We have already taken steps to be transparent about our business, to simplify bills and tariffs and to bear down on costs for consumers. Customers also want issues to be resolved quickly, accurately and conveniently and we have worked hard to offer better service.
“However, the industry must accept that this rising scrutiny is caused by a mistrust of energy companies’ motives and actions. That is why I will welcome an inquiry. I agree with OFGEM’s conclusion that it will clear the air once and for all and remove uncertainty from the market. This will end the lingering suspicions that hang over the industry and undermine trust.
“An inquiry will allow EDF Energy to show competitors, regulators and customers that we have acted fairly and will continue to do so. Where we have fallen short in any way, we will remedy this."
EDF Energy facts and figures
- EDF Energy does not charge any exit fees on any of its products – so customers are free to leave any time without paying a penalty.
- We only have three tariffs for all our customers, a standard variable rate and two fixed price deals allowing customers to fix prices until July 2015 or March 2017.
- Our business is growing. We had a net gain of 250,000 customer accounts last year.
- We were the first company to take action to limit rising prices in November 2013.
- We have further proposals to simplify bills and bear down on cost. For example we are proposing simple petrol-forecourt style energy pricing so customers can compare prices more easily.
- Nearly half of EDF Energy customer accounts (45%) are fixed priced deals – meaning a significant number of our customers have actively chosen these products. We will only retain customers and attract new ones by offering highly competitive deals.
- Our standard prices have been lower than our major rivals for 95 weeks out of 104 weeks over the last two years.
- EDF Energy generates more electricity than it needs to serve its own residential and business customers, so it always sells electricity to others on the wholesale market.
- Making a profit allows us to invest in Britain. The company has invested around £3.5bn back into the UK over the last three years.