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Energy regulators
A Guide to Energy Regulators

The main organisations involved in energy regulation are Ofgem and Energywatch in the UK and ERRA which is a global body. Here's a little bit more about energy regulators.

Ofgem

In the UK, one of the main independent energy regulators for the gas and electricity industries is called Ofgem. It is governed by an authority, which is made up of non-executive and executive members and a non-executive chair.

The authority's main purpose is to set out strategy and decide on policy including price controls and enforcement. This energy regulator is funded through annual licence fees recovered from the licensed companies which it regulates.

ERRA

One of the other major energy regulators is The Energy Regulators Regional Association or ERRA. ERRA is a voluntaryorganisation, which consists of independent energy regulatory bodies. The following countries are members of ERRA: Albania , Armenia , Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia , Estonia , Georgia , Hungary , Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic , Latvia , Lithuania , Macedonia, Moldova , Mongolia , Montenegro, Poland , Romania , Russian Federation , Serbia, Turkey , Ukraine .

Energywatch

Energywatch is not a regulatory body or one of the main independent energy regulators, but it plays an important part as the UK's independent gas and electricity consumer watchdog set up by government to help protect the interests of UK domestic electricity and gas consumers.

What do energy regulators do?

Ofgem

As an energy regulator, Ofgem's main priority is to protect the interest of energy consumers in the UK. Here are some of its main responsibilities:

  • Encourages healthy competition among energy regulators, wherever appropriate, amongst energy suppliers, to ensure consumers receive choice and good value for energy products.

  • Rresponsible for regulating the monopoly energy companies which run the gas and electricity networks throughout the UK.

  • 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.

  • Helps to secure Britain's energy supplies by ensuring there is adequate and continued investment in the gas and electricity networks.

  • Works towards reducing the negative effects of climate change and supports all work aimed at sustainable development, as an energy regulator.

  • Does this by working with energy companies to make efficient improvements to help the environment.

  • Prioritises the needs of vulnerable customers such as older people, disabled, and sick people and those on low income.

  • Acts as a representative for energy consumers to come for information or to make a complaint against any company within the energy industry.

  • Also gets involves with resolving disputes between customers and energy suppliers, as an energy regulator.

ERRA

ERRA 's main objective is to promote the exchange of information and experience among its members and to widen access to energy regulators' experience worldwide.

To be more specific, EERA aims to do the following:

  • Improve national energy regulation in member countries

  • Nurture progress of stable energy regulators with autonomy and authority

  • Enhance cooperation among energy regulators
  • Enhance communication, information, research and experience among energy regulators, and support training opportunities

Energywatch

Here are the some of the key functions and duties of Energywatch:

  • Provides advice and information about consumer issues and representing the views of consumers.

  • Gives advice and information to Ministers, energy regulators such as OFGEM and licence holders.

  • Investigates and helps to resolve consumer complaints against energy companies and energy regulators.

  • Publishes information on the performance of licenced energy companies against OFGEM's statutory service standards.

  • Publishes complaints made against energy suppliers, transporters, distributors, and energy regulators.

  • Considers the interests of individuals who are disabled or chronically sick, of pensionable age, on low-incomes, and residing in rural areas.

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