Ofgem under fire over EMR

The recent energy market refit made by Ofgem has come under fire from independent energy specialists, Bergen Energi. They say that Ofgem’s overhaul of pricing tariffs does little to help […]

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By Tom Gibson

The recent energy market refit made by Ofgem has come under fire from independent energy specialists, Bergen Energi. They say that Ofgem’s overhaul of pricing tariffs does little to help a fractured energy market.

Bergen Energi were critical of Ofgem CEO Alistair Buchanan, saying in a statement that he has “had eight years to change and challenge, with many initiatives happening but little obvious overall benefit for end users.”

The report has called for unity in the energy sector to create measures that will help build the UK’s low carbon infrastructure and ultimately help the consumer by taking the risk off their shoulders.

Simon Firth, Key Account Manager at Bergen Energi, said: “I don’t believe the proposed changes to tariff structure will have the desired effect. I think what is needed is for it to be made clear what is an acceptable level of profit for suppliers so that another inevitable ‘energy supplier bashing’ can be avoided.

“Could the regulator not impose a mechanism to ring fence current profit for future investment needs which will benefit the end user in the long term?”

Ofgem disagreed, Media Officer Alison Wright said: “It doesn’t tie in with what consumers are saying- we have evidence saying they are unhappy with the suppliers.”

Bergen’s report suggests that the threat to punish the Big Six might help deter, but it doesn’t provide a solution. With £200bn expected to cover the UK’s move into a new low carbon future, Bergen say that the consumer can’t be expected to foot the entirety of the bill.

Mr Firth added that the Big Six were expected to take responsibility and do their bit also: “It is clear that Ofgem is frustrated at the amount of profit made by suppliers and probably quite rightly so.”

Consumer Focus offered their full support for Ofgem back in March by saying it was the suppliers who had to step up.

In a statement, the consumer support group said: “Ofgem has clearly concluded that existing competitive pressure has not been enough to make companies reform. It must put its full weight behind these changes and deliver on the threatened Competition Commission referral if energy firms do not take the required actions.”