The House of Lords economic affairs committee today launched a new inquiry into whether there are failures in the UK energy market.
The committee is worried that government policies to keep the lights on this winter provide poor value for money for consumers and taxpayers.
Lord Hollick, committee chair, said: "The core question ... is are there failures in the energy market and what measures are needed in the future to correct them?"
"The risk of widespread power cuts is low. The question is the price that taxpayers and consumers are going to have to pay to ensure that risk remains low."
"The energy market involves an extraordinarily complicated mix of policy interventions are subsidies. Every investment in electricity generating supply is effectively determined by the government."
"This inquiry will seek to investigate whether current policy is delivering the best deal for energy users and whether it is striking the correct balance between private and public sector involvement."
It said that subsidies for renewables have been the primary means of generating cleaner energy. But the way these are levied has resulted in higher energy prices, as well as a lack of investment which is threatening continuity of supply.
Low energy prices reduce incentives to build new gas power stations to replace ageing, uneconomic gas and coal-fired power plants which are going offline.