Extract from Speech at the Energy Industries Club by EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz - 25th March 2014
“You will be aware that Ofgem and the Office of Fair Trading are due to publish their first competition assessment in the next few days. We should expect that the assessment will have some critical comments to make about the energy market.
"Nevertheless, I believe that our industry should welcome the assessment.
"We must not be defensive. A mature, appropriate, response is needed. Such an enquiry will not, by itself, restore trust. Trust is the prime responsibility of the energy companies. However, the inquiry will be an opportunity to establish the facts in a wholly transparent way. Because restoring public trust requires transparency
"Customers want – clean, reliable, power, at a fair price. These demands are straightforward.
"At a time when the structure of energy companies is under scrutiny, we will be able to show that a business which generates and sells electricity works in the best interests of consumers. The world energy market is increasingly complex and volatile. Companies with a view of the whole system are best placed to give customers the simple, affordable and reliable power they need.
"This is something I strongly believe. It is a case we must not be afraid to make.
"At the same time, we need to be honest and accept that this rising scrutiny is the result of mistrust of energy companies, mistrust of our actions and our motives. Yet this is precisely why I welcome the debate: it is an opportunity to show that we have nothing to hide and to prove to our customers that we have their best interests at heart, so that we can earn and retain their trust.
"We have already taken important steps. We are transparent about what we do and how we operate. EDF Energy is open about its costs, its profit and its tax. And for customers, a key priority is to show that we are able to act on rising costs and to take action to bear down on them."