Ofgem boss: I’m sorry for failing vulnerable consumers


Dermot Nolan, the chief chairman of the board of energy regulator Ofgem, has apologised for failing vulnerable consumers.

“We could own done better, and should have done better, for vulnerable clients,” he told MPs on the Business and Energy Committee.

Asked whether he wished to apologise to them, he asserted, “I do.”

However, he added that such customers would benefit from the near price cap on standard variable tariffs (SVTs).

As many as 56% of households – roughly 11.5 million consumers – are still on SVTs, which are significantly multifarious expensive than fixed-term deals.

  • British Gas to scrap standard bill of fares
  • No energy price cap this winter

MPs on the Business and Energy Committee are through the government’s draft plans to cap such tariffs.

‘Not passive’

Mr Nolan was also accused of being too quiescent as a regulator.

“I do not seem passive,” he replied. “We are rolling our sleeves up very strongly.”

But he declared he regretted that price controls had not been imposed earlier.

“I preference we had acted earlier in putting a price cap in place for vulnerable consumers,” he conjectured.

From next month, a million poorer consumers will see their accounts reduced by a price cap, and a further two million will benefit by next winter.

Ofgem believes they resolve save an average of £120 a year as a result.

The poorest households on pre-payment meters already entertain their bills capped.


However, many in the industry, classifying one former regulator, have said a cap could reduce competition.

Stephen Littlechild was the tension regulator in the 1990s.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, he suggested a cured solution would be for each of the big six energy suppliers to give up 10% of their purchaser base, which could be sold off to new entrants in the market.

Three of the biggest suppliers suffer with already said they plan to end SVTs anyway.

British Gas resolution stop selling SVTs to new customers by April, and those coming off cheaper fixed-price dole outs will no longer be automatically transferred to an SVT.

SSE and E.On have announced similar procedures.

The proposed price cap is due to last until 2020 in the first instance, but could be tender to 2023.

However, it is not yet known when it will begin.

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