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CMA ruling a major step forward, but process still favours networks, says Citizens Advice

28 October 2021

Citizens Advice, in its role as the official consumer watchdog for energy consumers, has responded to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) findings on appeals by the energy networks (transmission and gas distribution companies) against their price control, known as RIIO-2.

Citizens Advice submitted evidence to the CMA stating that, if successful, appeals by networks could cost consumers an additional £1.5bn.

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“This decision is good news for consumers and a major step forward in fixing the problem of excessive profits made by network companies. It sends a clear signal to the companies still to go through the price control process (electricity distribution networks) that they won’t be getting the same bumper payday as last time round.

“But we shouldn’t be under any illusions, the price control and appeals processes are skewed in favour of the networks. There is still too much scope for companies to make hundreds of millions in unearned profit at consumers’ expense. The CMA needs to work with regulators and consumer groups to redress the balance and make sure the process works in consumers’ interests.”

Additional background

  • Citizens Advice research (Missing Billions - July 2017) showed that energy network companies were able to overcharge energy customers by £7.5bn during the current RIIO-1 price controls.

  • Citizens Advice previously established five principles which it believes need to be met if the RIIO-2 price controls are to deliver for consumers.

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  2. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  3. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
  4. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
  5. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit
  7. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.
  8. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  9. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.