Energy company investigation could result in blackouts

The energy industry has warned the UK will face blackouts if it is subject to a full-scale investigation.

Ofgem has asked the new Competition and Markets Authority to look into competition in the retail energy market.

This follows months of political pressure over customers’ hefty bills.

British Gas owner Centrica said if the company was subject to a probe, it would delay investment in gas-fired power stations, leading to a shortage of supply.

“There is an increasing risk. A lot can be done in terms of demand management, but actually building a new gas power station does take four years,” Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica, told BBC Radio 4’s Today. “So that’s the kind of time pressure we are up against, by adding another two years that makes it six years.”

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