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Glossary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ofgem
How Ofgem Protects You

Ofgem's main priority is to protect the interest of energy consumers in the UK. Here are some of the ways Ofgem protects you as a user of gas and electricity:

1. Better regulation

Apart from regulating the monopoly energy companies which run the gas and electricity networks throughout the UK, Ofgem also promotes healthy competition amongst energy suppliers, where possible. It is careful to apply regulation only when necessary. This approach ensures energy consumers receive choice and good value for both gas and electricity.

2. Enforcement

Ofgem
investigates energy companies which may be:

  • breaching the terms of their licence

  • acting anti-competitively

  • breaching consumer protection law


As an example, Ofgem protects against anti-competitive activities by energy suppliers, including mis-selling—where a supplier misleads the customer or provides false information to encourage the customer to switch supplier—and situations where suppliers unlawfully stop customers from moving to another supplier.

Ofgem guarantees that consumers are informed of any formal investigation and its outcome by publicising details of the case on the enforcement section of its website.

3. Freedom of information and whistleblowing

As Ofgem is a public authority, it is entitled to give energy consumers the right to request recorded information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Under this Act, energy consumers have the right to access any type of information regarding the energy industries.

4. Help for vulnerable consumers

Ofgem particularly prioritises the needs of vulnerable customers such as older people, disabled, and sick people and those on low income. Ofgem can help the above groups of people by informing them of the following schemes which can help them get information on a wide range of issues including how to afford fuel by securing various types of financial assistance, how to save money by using energy more efficiently, and much more.

  • Energy Saving Trust

  • Home Heat Helpline

  • Winter Fuel Payments

  • Warm Front

  • Warm Deal

  • Home Energy Efficiency Scheme

  • Priority Service Register (PSR)

5. Making complaints

Ofgem acts as an independent and impartial representative to whom energy consumers can go to make a complaint against any company within the energy industry, through Energywatch or The Energy Supply Ombudsman. Ofgem also gets involves with resolving disputes between customers and energy suppliers.

6. Saving money on energy bills

Ofgem provides advice and tips to energy consumers on how to save money on their fuel bills. It may suggest using different payment methods, switching suppliers, securing energy efficiency grants and more.

7. Helping the environment

Ofgem works towards reducing the negative effects of climate change and supports all work aimed at sustainable development. Ofgem does this by working with energy companies to make efficient improvements to help the environment.

8. Taking care of the future

Ofgem helps to secure your future energy supplies by ensuring there is adequate and continued investment in the gas and electricity networks in the UK.

What are Ofgem's successes?

In recent years, Ofgem has worked hard to achieve the following improvements:

  • It has contributed significantly towards reducing the cost of wholesale electricity prices. Since 1999, Ofgem has taken steps to open up the energy markets and ensure fair competition between energy providers.

  • In April 2002, Ofgem successfully removed the last set of price controls meaning that suppliers can now freely choose the price that they charge customers.

  • Ofgem has made fuel more affordable for approximately one million elderly and poor customers.

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