The allegations that gas companies were rigging prices surfaced when an employee of price-reporting firm ICIS Heren said there was evidence of traders working with gas companies to fix prices.
However, not everyone believes the findings will reflect positively on the energy sector. Claire Welton of the Fuel Poverty Action Campaign group said “Ofgem’s findings will further the deep mistrust in Ofgem as a regulator.”
This week energy regulator Ofgem issued a statement on the investigation: “Ofgem and the Financial Conduct Authority have conducted a review of allegations of manipulation of the gas market in Great Britain on 28 September 2012.
“It has been concluded that no evidence of the alleged market manipulation could be found and therefore that the interests of consumers have not been harmed.”
No ‘evidence of market manipulation’
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “Ofgem and the FCA have conducted a rigorous review and have not found evidence of market manipulation in this case.
“Market abuse is a very serious concern and I’m determined that where it exists, the full force of the law is brought to bear.
“That’s why we’re introducing annual competition reviews to make sure the energy market is operating properly, and we’re proposing to introduce criminal sanctions for manipulation of the energy markets.”
Criminal sanctions to be introduced
The news follows an announcement by Davey that he would look to bring in criminal sanctions against anyone found guilty of misconduct in the energy industry.
The proposals would mirror rules already in place in the banking industry and are currently in consideration.