With winter fast approaching, a second national lockdown coming into force this week and an uncertain future ahead of us, these are undoubtedly difficult times for people all across the UK and the rest of the world.
However, the energy sector is among those industries working to reduce the negative impacts on consumers as much as they can and the regulator is playing a leading role in tackling this challenge.
Ofgem has announced a series of new rules for energy suppliers in a bid to protect customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills – businesses will have to offer emergency credit to prepayment customers who find it difficult to top up because of a mobility issue, self-isolation or a temporary inability to afford it.
Vulnerable households will also be offered extra credit to allow them ‘extra space’ while working out alternative arrangements to pay their bills.
A recent report from Citizens Advice suggests the regulator could also save consumers a further £1.7 billion during the next set of energy network price controls (RIIO-2)
For RIIO-2, Ofgem has recommended cutting the proposed returns of energy networks by half, saving consumers £3.3 billion for the gas and transmission sectors alone and slashing profits for operators.
Jonathan Brearley became Ofgem’s Chief Executive Officer on 3 February 2020. This follows his previous appointment as Executive Director for Systems and Networks in April 2018.
He has wide-ranging energy sector experience, having led Electricity Market Reform as the Director for Energy Markets and Networks at DECC. Prior to this, he was Director of the Office of Climate Change, a cross-government strategy unit focussed on climate change and energy issues, where he led the development of the Climate Change Act. Earlier in his career, Jonathan was a senior adviser in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.
He will be hosting a headline presentation taking place at 15:15 on November 9th.