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New Ofgem changes mean more muscle for consumers

New Ofgem changes mean more muscle for consumers

Category: Gas and electricity

Updated: 20/10/2009
First Published: 20/10/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Ofgem has announced that it has delivered a number of new changes that the body says will give consumers more clout in the energy market.

The new measures are a result of Ofgem's recent Energy Supply Probe, and will incorporate new standards of conduct which will be used to judge suppliers' treatment of customers.

Amongst the raft of proposals include:
  • tougher rules on marketing practices, such as doorstop selling
  • an obligation on suppliers to provider clearer information on energy bills designed to help consumers when comparing tariffs
  • greater protection for small businesses
  • helping customers that are deemed to be vulnerable or have a low income
  • an obligation on suppliers to publish revenue, costs and profits from production and supply of electricity and gas.

"Ofgem has taken on the main consumer concerns and placed tougher rules on the suppliers to remedy these concerns," commented Andrew Wright, Ofgem senior partner, markets.

"As each measure comes into play, consumers – including low income households and small businesses – will be armed with better information and protection. That will give them more muscle in the market to put a greater competitive squeeze on the suppliers."

The new rule swill be complemented by a clear set of standards and conduct that suppliers are expected to adhere to when dealing with customers.

"They call on suppliers to be clear, fair and courteous and to take the confusion out of comparing products. I particularly urge suppliers to consider carefully whether any of the products could be simplified to help consumers make informed choices," Mr. Wright added.

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