Ofgem condemned by panel of MPs for lax regulation of sector

Suzie Neuwirth
INDUSTRY regulator Ofgem came under fire from MPs at yesterday’s select committee hearing for failing to regulate energy companies stringently enough.

At the committee session on energy prices, profits and poverty, the panel of ministers lambasted the regulator, saying that “the scope for companies to pull the wool over people’s eyes remains almost unchecked.”

Andrew Wright, interim chief executive at Ofgem, defended the regulator’s actions, saying it had “acted robustly” on areas such as mis-selling, although he conceded that more needed to be done.

Wright refused to give an update on the probe into alleged wholesale gas price manipulation which it started eight months ago with the former FSA.

When asked if it would be completed this year, he refused to give a timeframe and said that it was “not appropriate to comment” on an on-going investigation. However, he added that the government was putting extended powers in place for the regulator, which would speed up enforcement.