One of the UK’s largest manufacturing bodies has urged the electricity regulator to impose immediate price controls on power generators.
The Chemical Industries Association said the curbs were needed to prevent National Power, PowerGen and Eastern from exploiting their market domination.
Hugh Mortimer, chairman of the CIA’s electricity working party, said: ‘With manufacturing in recession, this industry’s costs must not be burdened further by unjustifiably high electricity prices.’
Mortimer said that until proposals by the regulator, Offer, to make electricity trading arrangements more competitive were in force, there should be an upper limit on power pool prices.
Offer published a consultation paper on price controls and competition for electricity supply companies at the end of July, reinforcing its preference for competition as a way of keeping prices down.
It warned: ‘Price restraints can prevent or distort competition. It is important not to undermine the protection of customers tomorrow.’