Energy workers union calls for Ofgem to be scrapped

Published:  05 August, 2016

The union for energy workers, GMB, is calling for Ofgem to be abolished and government to take over as regulator accountable to parliament following new proposals from Ofgem.

The UK energy regulator outlined its approach to the remedies recommended the Competition & Market Authority (CMA) on 3 August, saying they will deliver a more competitive and fairer energy market for consumers.

The CMA’s two-year investigation, which concluded last month, confirmed that two thirds of households are disengaged and paying over the odds for their energy compared to those who have switched tariff.

The remedies are aimed at freeing up competition and innovation in the market to drive down bills and improve service for all consumers not just a minority.

Ofgem chief executive, Dermot Nolan said: “The CMA’s final report is a watershed moment for industry and consumers and points the way to a fairer and more competitive future. I call on energy companies and consumer groups to seize this opportunity.”

However, GMB is not convinced and says government cannot duck taking the decisions needed to keep the lights on and ensure the decarbonisation of the sector.

"Here we go again with more Ofgem tinkering over the pretence that a free market is possible in this sector,” said Justin Bowden, GMB national secretary for energy.

“Ofgem should be abolished and the government itself should take over responsibility for regulating the industry so both are accountable to parliament,” he continued.

“Government should also have powers to cap prices and limit profit levels and, where necessary, to finance and run power stations."

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