Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Energy Analyst Claims Heren Index Data Doesn't Prove Price Rigging


A top energy analyst has claimed the data provided by the whistleblower to Ofgem neither proves nor disproves any suggestion of rigging wholesale prices ahead of the winter months.

Patrick Avis told Huffington Post UK there were any number of reasons to explain the low prices submitted on the day which is being investigated by energy regulator Ofgem and the Financial Services Authority, ranging from a genuine attempt to rig the market to a simple typo.

"From what I have read it seems that the agency (ICIS Heren, which publishes energy pricing reports) was debating how best to reflect the prices and took a middle of the road approach," he explained.

"It's very easy to read manipulation into the market and to fit circumstances to fit a message; without seeing the next level of detail it's very hard to say for certain.

"As a roughly comparable example, whenever someone buys a TV on an electrical company's website for £1, they're clearly buying the TV well below market, but does that mean the retailer is trying to manipulate the market, or are their computer systems experiencing gremlins and someone is snapping up a bargain?"

The furore over wholesale energy pricing -and the alleged manipulation of price - came about after a 'whistleblower' from ICIS Heren told the FSA that Britain's £300bn wholesale gas market has been "regularly" manipulated by some of the big power companies.

Separately, the energy regulator Ofgem has been warned by ICIS Heren that it had seen evidence of suspect trading on 28 September, a key date as it marks the end of the gas financial year and can have an important influence on future prices.


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