Energy Bills: Pressure Groups Push For Probe
Consumer and business groups have joined forces to push for an investigation into Britain's "broken" energy market.
Which? And the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have called for the so-called big six energy companies to be broken up.
The two organisations want a full-scale competition inquiry into their dominance of UK energy supplies.
The groups say 90% of consumers believe the sector should be investigated.
They said 70% of consumers are worried about prices paid for energy, while only one in five trust the companies.
The consumer and business plea calls for greater transparency, improved billing clarity, price comparison options and easier switching.
The letter said: "It is clear that the energy market is broken and urgently needs fixing.
"Top of our concerns is the need to increase competition and to make trading transparent.
"For too long the lack of competition in the energy market has not been addressed. It is now time for radical changes that deliver an effective, competitive market that works for everyone, before the scale of this crisis worsens."
The energy regulator Ofgem is expected to announce its intention to refer the energy suppliers to the Competition and Markets Authority this week.
Such a referral could ultimately lead to a break-up of the companies, forcing them to separate their power generation arms from their retail businesses.
In response, a spokesman for Energy UK said: "The energy industry supports competition.
"The increasing number of companies looking to supply energy, allied to the numbers of customers switching and choosing smaller suppliers, shows that the market is active and working in the interests of customers."