Electricity generators are depriving UK business consumers of cost savings by keeping the electricity pool price artificially high, according to the 1999 National Utility Services International Electricity Price Survey, published recently.

As a result the average cost of electricity over the last 12 months dropped by just 0.27%—taking into account a 5.5% increase in transmission charges—making the UK the eighth most expensive of the 17 countries surveyed.

The survey discusses the role of the generators in setting the pool price and anticipates the effect the new regulator will have on controlling the influence of Powergen and National Power.

It also urges consumers to be cautious when considering contracts offering a lower average price for the term of the contract, warning that they will have been constructed to take advantage of lower summer costs and will not offer the genuine savings that they suggest.