Power firms switch on to online buying.

The rush online by UK industry continued this week as the electricity sector switched on its first internet-based trading exchange in London.

Stockholm stock exchange operator OM estimates the new UK Power Exchange (UKPX) could account for up to 20% of Britain’s electricity consumption.

Last week eight European utilities companies combined to set-up an online purchasing exchange with a joint spending power of almost $28bn.

Fourteen companies representing 80% of the UK electricity generation and 65% of power consumption are due to trade on UKPX, initially in future contracts, before a spot market is set-up in November.

‘We are encouraged by the number of members we have to date,’ said UKPX chief executive, Peter Cox. ‘We now want to build up liquidity and attract further members ready for the launch of the spot market in November.’

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