Ofgem under pressure ahead of today’s committee hearing

Suzie Neuwirth
LABOUR yesterday lashed out at Ofgem for taking too long to address gas price-fixing allegations, equating the scandal to the one that hit the oil industry last week.

The Energy and Climate Change Committee met with the “big six” energy companies last month and has now called regulator Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as witnesses at a hearing on energy prices, profits and poverty this afternoon.

Ofgem and financial regulators are both investigating allegations of manipulation of prices in the wholesale gas market after reports surfaced last year.

“The question is why Ofgem has taken so long to deal with these problems,” a spokesman for Caroline Flint MP, the shadow energy and climate change secretary, told City A.M.

“It has been more than six months and we have had no update as to what’s going on. These are serious allegations, similar to those being made of the oil industry at the moment.”

A DECC spokesman said in an emailed statement: “We are introducing a range of measures to help people to keep their homes warm and their bills down…That’s on top of measures in the Energy Bill to give Ofgem new powers to crack down on any rogue switching sites, and to ensure when energy suppliers break the rules, customers can now be directly compensated.”

Ofgem declined to comment.