Reactions to Miliband’s “scrap Ofgem” pledge

Labour leader Ed Miliband declared over the weekend he wanted to scrap the regulator Ofgem because it isn’t using its powers to make bills lower for consumers. But not many […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Labour leader Ed Miliband declared over the weekend he wanted to scrap the regulator Ofgem because it isn’t using its powers to make bills lower for consumers.

But not many openly agree they are ready to see the regulator go just yet.

Although the Energy Networks Association would not comment on whether it agreed with ditching Ofgem, it went as far as to say regulation was a “very important part of our industry sector” and needed to fit better with policy.

A spokesman told ELN: “We’ve always advocated a role for regulation that links better with government policy. In the past the relationship between Ofgem and DECC has not always been as successful as industry would like.”

He said the change of tack from Miliband’s stint as Energy Secretary, when he moved to strengthen Ofgem’s powers, comes at a time when “things are more urgent”, with every year taking us “closer to climate change targets which need to be met, another power station being decommissioned, investors wanting to put money into industry”.

While Energy UK, the newly formed trade body which represents both big and small energy suppliers, said regulation must create a “stable” environment for investment.

Angela Knight, chief executive of the trade body said: “The sector employs over 600,000 people and contributes billions to the economy. We need to be sure that the investors looking around the world for investment opportunities choose Britain. And that means having the stable energy policy and regulation that allows competition to thrive, serves consumers well and keep British industry competitive.”