Ofgem have been at the centre of a lot of controversy in recent times. Ofgem are the regulator for the gas and energy markets in the UK. This means that their job is to monitor the behaviour of the energy companies in the UK. It is their job to ensure that we, as consumers, are protected from mistreatment when it comes to the way in which we receive our energy.
Ofgem are the regulator of the electricity and gas companies in the UK. They are charged with overseeing the practices of all the energy companies in Great Britain.
Like Ofcom or the FSA, Ofgem are an official government body. This means they wield quite a large degree of power over the companies that they regulate.
Before Ofgem was created, two bodies existed for the regulation of the energy companies within Britain. These companies were the Office of Gas Supply and the Office of Electricity Regulation.
There is a levy placed on the energy companies in the UK that gets paid to Ofgem. This is how Ofgem receives their funding. However, whilst it does receive payment from the energy companies it still remains an independent body.
The main reason for Ofgem’s creation was the opening up of the gas and electricity markets in the UK to general competition. Before 1996, British Gas was responsible for almost all of the energy that was produced in the UK.
Once households had the freedom to choose between different energy suppliers on an open market, there was a clear need for a regulating body. Ofgem took over responsibility for the setting of a maximum price, thereby protecting consumers from exploitation.
However these limits on a maximum price have since been removed. As a result of this the price of energy in the UK has gone up by over one and a half times its level in 2004.
Ofgem has been given the task of ensuring that energy consumers are getting a fair deal on their gas and electricity.
They are also in charge of ensuring that the supply of energy is protected. This means that they must make sure that there is always enough energy available to meet the demands of the UK.
Ofgem also monitors the performance of energy companies when it comes to their customer satisfaction. This means that they also keep an eye on how many complaints the energy companies receive. Ofgem forces the energy companies to publish these complaints clearly on their websites, so that new customers can see what kind of treatment they are likely to receive.
Ofgem’s confidence code is designed to govern price comparison sites, like this one.
This code make sure that we provide you with clear, fair and impartial information on the cheapest gas and electricity deals that are available to you.
This means that when you use our website, you can be sure that we are showing you the best deals that are out there on the market. We will never try and influence you towards one energy company or another.
As a result of Ofgem’s confidence code, price comparison sites like ours have become the best way to find a good deal on gas and electricity. In just a few minutes, with a very small amount of your information, we can find great offers on energy rates that are relevant your needs and your lifestyle.
Ofgem have repeatedly stressed the need for customers to become “Energy Shoppers”. This means that they recommend that you look around at the options on the market, in order to try and find the most competitive plans that are out there.
This review was aimed at investigating whether or not the energy market in the UK was doing enough to protect its customers.
Here are some of the main things that they identified needed addressing:
Ofgem have decided that, in order to allow energy customers to more easily compare the rates that they are on, all gas and electricity bills must display the key data of the tariff that is being paid.
They also decided that all energy rates should have one set tariff and a clear amount that customers pay per unit of electricity. The only tariffs that were allowed to vary were ones that offered cheaper rates at low use times e.g. Economy 7, Heatwise etc.
Energy companies are now obliged to let you know when you could be paying less on your energy bills. This is aimed at people who have been on the same energy plan for a long time.
A Set Number of Tariffs
Ofgem found that many energy companies were offering so many tariffs that it became increasingly difficult for their customers to see which one may offer them the best deal. The RMR has suggested that each supplier be limited to offering four core tariffs.