Ofgem announces tough protection measures

Electricity and gas markets regulator Ofgem will implement tough new measures to reform the energy markets to help smaller businesses. After investigating the markets in March over claims of unfair […]

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By Tom Gibson

Electricity and gas markets regulator Ofgem will implement tough new measures to reform the energy markets to help smaller businesses. After investigating the markets in March over claims of unfair pricing from power firms, the regulator threatened to auction up to a fifth of the current market share to new producers of energy.

Chief Executive Alistair Buchanan said: “During our investigation into the energy market, businesses told us about a range of problems they were having with energy suppliers and also some energy brokers.

“Ofgem is now proposing a series of reforms to ensure that business customers get a better deal from their energy supplier and greater protection for those using energy brokers. This will greatly increase the protection for businesses, especially for smaller firms.

Four elements of reform have been announced which include:
– New standards of conduct;
– Extending existing licence conditions which protect micro businesses;
– Reforms that protect against unfair sales practice;
– More power to enforce against brokers.

Energy Minister Charles Hendry said: “I welcome today’s announcement from Ofgem on greater protection for small business customers. We are determined to make sure that UK businesses as well as domestic households get a fair deal on their energy bills, and fully support action Ofgem is taking to boost competition and ensure suppliers are playing by the rules.”