The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed a proposed investigation into the energy market, calling for action to make the market fairer and more competitive for local shops.

The announcement made on Thursday March 27 by energy regulator Ofgem is to recommend an investigation of the market by the Competition Markets Authority. Ofgem notes that profit increases and price rises have ’intensified distrust’ of suppliers, and that an investigation is needed to consider whether the current state of the energy market acts as a barrier to competition.

Research conducted by ACS has shown that over a third of convenience retailers (36%) believe that they have been overcharged by their energy supplier, while almost one in four (23%) have reported difficulty in switching their contract or supplier.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "This investigation is long overdue."