The central aim of our energy policy is to deliver an affordable, secure and sustainable energy system. This supports our principal objective, which is to protect the interests of present and future consumers.
One of the greatest challenges in terms of affordability is the fact that cost trends, which had been reducing during the 1980s and 1990s, are now increasing throughout the supply chain. This affects all energy consumers, from the smallest to the largest, domestic and business.
In keeping with our remit, we look to ensure that the prices consumers pay represent value for money. We achieve this through the setting of revenue controls and incentives for the energy companies and through the supervision and development of the wholesale and retail markets.
New price controls for transmission and gas distribution networks took effect in April 2013 and are designed to keep the pressure on the network companies to deliver value for money.
In addition, a range of key projects for 2013-2014 are focused on providing simpler choices for consumers, with clearer information about products, prices and available savings, as well as fairer treatment in all supplier interactions with their customers. We are reviewing both the retail and wholesale markets with the aim of promoting competition and prohibiting market manipulation.