17 Oct 11

Speaking at today’s Energy Summit, EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said:

“Secretary of State, thank you.

I speak on behalf of the company which will raise its price last and lowest. Even when this is finally implemented next month, we will still have the cheapest standard dual fuel prices nationally of the main suppliers1.

Furthermore, for the second winter running we will freeze our prices.

We were able to do so because our integrated business means our customers can share in the good performance of our nuclear fleet this year and that I have made the conscious decision to strike a fair balance between customers and shareholders. Our electricity price increase is in line with inflation only.

I was pleased to hear you say on the day we made that announcement, Mr Huhne that “It is a myth that all the energy companies are the same.”

We have discussed today Check, Switch and Insulate to Save and the practicalities of these three elements in a constructive way.

For that to continue in a constructive way we need to address the biggest issue: Trust.

I am on record for saying publicly some time ago that trust in the energy industry must be rebuilt.

As the leader of the nuclear industry, I recognise the fundamental role of trust.

As it happens, we and our nuclear regulator share the same goal.

We need to change the dynamic. We cannot keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

That is why I was also the first to say a Competition Commission enquiry may be needed.

It is a myth that this would take 5 years. It could be completed in 12 to18 months.

It is a myth that it would delay investment or delay action for customers in the meantime.

It is not a question of either / or: We would do both.

To build trust we need to work together. Not against one another.

It is not a football match.

I recognise that people do not give credibility to us when we give the facts.

This situation will not be fixed by the Regulator publishing headline figures for profits which are not credible. Even Ofgem admitted they were a ‘snapshot’.

By the way – the same approach must be taken on liquidity. We need credible steps which address the real issues. Not polemic.

The result of all this is that we have a climate of mistrust.

How do we fix it?

Two steps:

We need to move from individual agendas to a shared agenda which is to build trust and do the fair thing.

And we need to deliver that agenda transparently.

So, I propose we establish an open, transparent forum of Ministers, the regulator, industry, consumer groups, NGOs, charities, the media and academics.

And we need to find ways through digital and social media to demonstrate that we are transparent.

In conclusion, we have to put the shared agenda above individual agendas.

To be open and transparent.

To build trust.”

Notes to Editors

1. Major supplier being one of EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, SSE, Scottish Power and British Gas. Standard domestic typical dual fuel monthly direct debit bill, averaged across all regions based on Ofgem’s typical consumption of 3,300kWh electricity and 16,500kWh gas per annum and include relevant discounts and VAT charged at 5%.