Letters to the Editor - 20/03 - Energy market, Best of Twitter

Energy market

[Re: Blame the regulator, yesterday]

Stephen Littlechild’s article is full of inaccuracies and poorly substantiated claims. None of the discounts he claims we regard as “harmful complexities” are prevented under our reforms for a simpler, clearer fairer market. Nor would our rules prevent British Gas providing free electricity on Saturdays as he suggests. Littlechild repeats his view that there is “accumulating evidence” that Ofgem’s past actions have been responsible for higher prices. This is mainly based on reflecting that profits have recently risen, when there are more obvious reasons for the rises. We also require large energy firms to disclose their supply profits, which has brought this transparency. The real legacy of Ofgem’s reforms is that consumers no longer have to deal with misleading sales pitches on the doorstep and can trust information provided by energy firms. And through our latest reforms, from the start of April consumers will have clearer information from suppliers to help them compare the market. We have also taken great care not to stand in the way of genuine innovation. Finally, Littlechild questions the capability of people at Ofgem. We have experienced economists at working, executive, and board level, together with a wealth of highly-regarded specialists. Their sole focus is protecting the interests of consumers.

Andrew Wright, senior partner, Ofgem

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