Ofgem’s new roadmap tries to force hand of Big Six

Ofgem today brought out a new roadmap for the electricity market to try and force the Big Six to make room for other suppliers. The regulator laid out a number […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Ofgem today brought out a new roadmap for the electricity market to try and force the Big Six to make room for other suppliers.

The regulator laid out a number of changes to the way it wants suppliers to buy and sell wholesale power.

Chiefly Ofgem wants independent suppliers to be able to buy more easily so it is proposing obligatory auctions for electricity. It also wants energy firms to put in place reference prices to show how much power would cost in the forward market.

Ofgem says there has been progress since it first announced Big Six companies need to “radically” change their ways.

Andrew Wright, Senior Partner for Markets said: “We have seen pledges to simplify tariffs, moratoriums on door-step sales and now auctioning of power in the short-term market. This is to be welcomed.”

But he said with Big Six firms still supplying almost 99% of domestic customers, the process must be sped up: “The needs of independent suppliers have not yet been met and this is why Ofgem is proposing to introduce mandatory auctions to force the pace of change and increase transparency.”

Recently appointed Energy Secretary Ed Davey welcomed the “momentum” that is building behind “badly-needed reforms” of our energy market. He pledged to toughen up Ofgem’s powers if necessary.

Mr Davey said: “We have strengthened Ofgem’s own hand by making it harder for energy companies to block licence changes and we are looking at beefing up Ofgem’s powers further to ensure fairer outcomes for consumers.”