U.K. regulator Ofgem has called for a full investigation into the country's energy market, to "clear the air" over competition and whether the public is being ripped off.
The move comes amid rising anger towards the so-called "Big Six" energy companies which have been accused of hiking energy bills to boost their profits at a time when consumers are already struggling.
The results of the probe could see a huge shake up of the industry with the power supply and generation arms of big energy firms being split, allowing easier entry for smaller players and boosting competition for consumers.
"I want to make sure that consumers are put at the heart of this market, so we will continue to take action to help consumers. This includes from today putting the industry on notice that any new serious breach of the rules which comes to light will be likely to attract a higher penalty from Ofgem," the regulator's CEO said in a statement"