14 May 0
New Legislation, which came into force on 13 April 2015, will see anyone found guilty of rigging the wholesale gas and electricity prices facing up to two years in jail.
The new law makes it a criminal offence to use inside information to buy or sell wholesale energy or to fix the price of energy at a false level. It also makes it an offence to make misleading claims or disguise facts about the wholesale prices to influence the market.
The sanctions, if found guilty, include prison sentences and it is hoped that tougher penalties will help create a more robust market. The intention behind the legislation is to ensure greater protection for the bill payer and increased competition whilst driving down energy bills.
Earlier Regulations introduced in 2013, enabled the energy regulator, Ofgem, to investigate and fine those found breaching the market rules. Upgrading the severity of penalties to include criminal sanctions mean a person or company found to be duping the wholesale market could be sent to prison or suffer other criminal sanctions.