Ofgem will give energy market ‘radical overhaul’

Ofgem went on the offensive today by claiming it would press ahead with an overhaul of the retail energy market in light of recent price rises. Alistair Buchanan, Chief Executive […]

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By Tom Gibson

Ofgem went on the offensive today by claiming it would press ahead with an overhaul of the retail energy market in light of recent price rises.

Alistair Buchanan, Chief Executive at Ofgem, said: “Responses to our reforms show that there is increasing consensus across a range of consumer and business groups that in a period of rising energy prices energy suppliers have to transform the way they deal with consumers.”

According to Ofgem there are nearly 400 different price plans on the market, which causes confusion and can lead to consumers feeling cheated.

Speaking to MPs today at an Energy Select Committee hearing, Mr Buchanan said that setting up straightforward billing for consumers was really important: “What’s worrying is that 40% of customers say they switch to a weaker deal. We want a single tariff option called the evergreen option, so you can simply pick the cheapest of the six.”

However, Labour MP Barry Gardiner accused the regulator of covering its tracks after letting the Big Six get too powerful and that in fact it was public outcry forcing their hand.

Ofgem’s overhaul of the market does have support from key consumer groups, Consumer Focus, Which?, CAB, Age UK and uSwitch along with independent generators and small energy suppliers, who all want a fairer deal.