Has Ofgem Weakened Competition Between Energy Suppliers?
According to a group of former energy regulators, excessive regulatory measures have weakened the competition amongst energy suppliers, leading to higher energy prices.
The ex-regulators, who include Stephen Littlechild, head of electricity regulation from 1989 to 1998, Sir Callum McCarthy, head of Ofgem from 1998 to 2003, and Clare Spottiswoode, head of gas regulation from 1993 to 1998, believe that Ofgem's interventions have imposed unnecessary expenses on energy suppliers, which have forced them to eliminate some of their cheaper energy tariffs.
Former Regulators Criticise Ofgem
Stephen Littlechild informed Radio 5live that the changes made by Ofgem seemed to have restricted competition amongst suppliers and that in its attempts to simplify the market, Ofgem had reduced the range of deals on offer, causing customers to lose interest in using energy comparison sites and other such means to save money on their gas and electricity bills. He issued his warning in response to a recent enquiry into the energy industry launched by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on behalf of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem). The enquiry, which is set to last into 2015, could endorse the breakup of the Big Six, who currently dominate the supply of gas and electricity to homes and businesses across the UK.
Ofgem Denies Regulators’ Claims
Ofgem has refuted the former energy regulators’ allegations, stating that many of the current problems with competition in the energy market were apparent before 2008 and that the regulatory environment had changed considerably since then. In a statement, the energy watchdog claimed that its reforms had made the market simpler, fairer and more transparent than ever before, and that, while it intends to pay attention to the views of the former regulators, it will remain fully focused on improving the market for the benefit of consumers.
Checking Out The Competition Is Still a Good Option
If, like many consumers, you are concerned about the state of the energy market, now may be the time to start using energy comparison sites to uncover cheaper contracts. To compare energy prices and switch suppliers for free, simply contact the team here at Love Energy Savings and let us find the best tariff for your needs. Unlike other energy comparison sites, we can provide you with all the help and advice you need without bombarding you with unwanted calls and emails.
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