Ofgem hits back at Energy UK for comments about ‘suppliers unfollowing rules’

Energy companies should follow rules and look after their customers in the first place, Jonathan Brearley has said

Big Zero Report 2022

More enforcement might not be the right solution to reported rule breaches made by energy companies.

Earlier today, Darren Jones, Chair of the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee welcoming Ofgem‘s Chief Executive, raised some of the issues that came out from previous panels of industry experts and specifically the comments from Energy UK, the trade body for energy companies, that “some businesses are unfollowing the rules and Ofgem should tell them off more”.

Jonathan Brearley replied: “I am deeply concerned by the comments that came from Energy UK today. There is a good debate about whether we should enforce more and how we run our compliance processes and we will have those today,

“But the idea that the industry say the way we obey the rules is by making the regulator enforce more shows to me the deep problem with the culture and the approach that some in the industry are taking.

“Quite frankly, I don’t think that represents the conversations I’ve had with CEOs and I don’t think that represents the attitude of the industry as a whole. But step one for a CEO of any company is to make sure that they are looking after their customers.”

Asked why this evidence was given to the committee and his views about why companies “are not following rules”, Mr Brearley has acknowledged that the industry have been under “enormous pressure”.

He said: “There is still more to do to get price regulation right, to make sure finances are working properly within the sector but I don’t think that represents the sector that I see today.

“I think there are problems and we will root them out but you have to start as a company by doing what is right for customers. I simply don’t accept the evidence that was given.”

ELN has approached Energy UK for comment.

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