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GMB calls for “toothless” OFGEM to be scrapped

Justin Bowden
oil & gas

Ofgem should be abolished with all its regulatory functions taken over by the government itself making its regulatory role subject to scrutiny and accountable to parliament says GMB. Comment from Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary for Energy.

GMB, the union for energy workers, has commented on energy secretary Greg Clark’s assertion that Ofgem can fix the failings in the energy market via the imposition of price regulation on suppliers after former energy regulator Stephen Littlechild said that Ofgem did not have the power to fix prices.

GMB has once again called for Ofgem to be scrapped and for the Government step in to regulate the energy sector. The Tory Party manifesto before the general election pledged to introduce a “safeguard tariff” to cap consumers’ bills, however Stephen Littlechild has said that Ofgem can propose a tariff but energy suppliers do not have to accept it.

GMB has always ridiculed the very idea of a competitive market in a natural monopoly because it is a contradiction in terms that we all pay for through our energy bills. GMB says this shows once again that Ofgem is not fit for purpose and needs to be replaced. Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary for Energy, said:  “Ofgem has been a toothless wonder that passed its use by date a long time ago.

“It should be abolished and all its regulatory functions taken over by the government itself, making its regulatory role subject to scrutiny and accountable to parliament with the powers to cap prices if deemed necessary. This would form the basis of an energy policy that took the real decisions needed to keep the lights on and ensure the decarbonisation of the sector, whilst guaranteeing the resources needed to generate jobs and to pay for the vital infrastructure needed to maintain our power networks. Government should also have powers to limit profits and, where necessary, to finance and run power stations.”

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