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Energy Markets

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the cost to British consumers and industry of lost opportunities in those EU countries which have not liberalised their energy markets. (95292)

We have made no estimate of such costs to the UK. However we believe the gains to be had from a properly functioning EU energy market in terms of reliable, affordable and sustainable energy are significant. For example we estimate that a properly functioning competitive EU gas market could have saved UK consumers in the order of £5 billion in the calendar year 2005.

The Government fully support the moves the Commission is taking to develop competition in the sector and look forward to its proposals for further action when it publishes its Strategic Energy Review and the conclusions from the sectoral inquiry in January.