Ofgem has hit back at claims it may be partly to blame for high prices, after a group of former regulators said it had presided over a weakening of competition in the energy market.
The energy regulator said it had introduced the “most radical set of reforms” to protect consumers in the retail energy market since competition began, after five former senior officials raised concerns about poorly designed regulation.
After their intervention was made public on Monday, an Ofgem spokesman rejected claims that regulation had been lax. “There certainly has been tight enough regulation. One of the chief examples of that is that when energy companies have broken the rules we have taken tough action against them. We have levied more than £100m in fines and redress on energy companies since April 2010, so compliance is something we take very seriously,” he said.
It is sad if Ofgem believes the odd headline grabbing fine is evidence of effective regulation. Its bias towards the generating industry is demonstrated by its website – there is no way for a mere consumer to report a suspected regulatory breach.