Who are Ofgem?
Unsure on who Ofgem are and what they can do for your business? Take a look at this handy guide which will take you through how Ofgem work.
Ofgem, or the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, is the independent energy regulator for Great Britain. They are responsible for ensuring that energy markets work fairly for consumers and businesses; in real-world terms this means that they review pricing and set price caps on energy, allowing your overall energy cost to be priced on a standard tariff.
How are Ofgem governed?
Ofgem is governed by the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA). This includes non-executive members, executive members and a non-executive chair. GEMA will determine strategies and policies and make decisions on a range of regulatory matters including price and enforcement – Ofgem.co.uk
GEMA can enforce these regulations due to the following acts:
✔ Gas Act 1986
✔ Electricity Act 1989
✔ Utilities Act 2000
✔ Competition Act 1998
✔ Enterprise Act 2002
✔ Measures set out in a number of Energy Acts
How do Ofgem enforce its policies?
Ofgem operates with the framework that is set by parliament. Although Ofgem do comply with what the government at the time implements they are also there to support the consumer and will support them if they believe there are unfair regulations being brought in. Ofgem regularly look at improving the energy market including the impact that their changes will have on the consumer.
Now we know who Ofgem are, we need to understand what they actually do as an organisation. Ofgem has a number of responsibilities related to business energy, including:
✔ Setting standards for customer service and billing
✔ Promoting competition in the business energy market
✔ Innovating within the energy sector
✔ Ensuring a reliable supply of energy
What do Ofgem do specifically for businesses?
Ofgem don’t just look after business energy – they also look after domestic customers, but what specific work do they do for business energy users? Here are some specific examples of how Ofgem’s work relates to business energy:
✔ Require energy suppliers to provide business energy consumers with clear and accurate information
✔ Ofgem has set standards for the way that energy suppliers handle complaints from business energy consumers
✔ Ofgem monitors the business energy market
✔ Ofgem supports the development of new energy technologies
✔ Ofgem works with the government to develop energy policy
When should a business contact Ofgem?
When a business energy customer is struggling with their business energy contract there are plenty of places they can turn to get help, and Ofgem is one of them. Business energy consumers can contact Ofgem for help with a range of issues, including:
✔ Issues with energy bills
✔ A dispute with your energy supplier
✔ If a business energy consumer is not satisfied with the way that their complaint has been handled
What resources can Ofgem provide businesses?
✔ Information and advice on business energy contracts
✔ Helping switching business energy suppliers
✔ Support for businesses struggling to pay their energy deals
✔ Advice on business energy efficiency
It really is difficult to say whether Ofgem is an effective organisation as it’s a matter of opinion. When considering if Ofgem are an effective organisation we should consider the following:
The sole reason that Ofgem exists is to ensure that the energy market and government policies don’t negatively affect the consumer. and government policies. They must ensure that they have access to competitive prices and that switching suppliers is an easy task for them to do.
Here are steps that Ofgem have taken to protect customers:
✔ Introducing a price cap
✔ Introduced a safeguarding tariff
✔ Improve customer service standards of energy suppliers
✔ Providing support to consumers
Ofgem should promote competition within the energy market which helps drive down prices and gives consumers more choices.
Here are a few steps that Ofgem have taken to ensure competition within the energy sector:
✔ New measures to easily switch suppliers
✔ Opening up energy markets
✔ Carry out market reviews
Ofgem should also play a role of promoting innovation within the energy sector, this helps the UK transition into a low-carbon economy.
Here are some of the steps Ofgem have taken to improve innovations:
✔ Funding research and development
✔ New regulations on renewable energy and energy efficiency
✔ Develop new market mechanisms to support innovation
Ofgem should work hand in hand with the current government as well as the energy suppliers to deliver a net-zero economy by 2050.
A big step for Ofgem is to improve energy suppliers efficiency, here are a few things they’ve done to combat that:
✔ Setting targets on renewable energy
✔ Introducing new regulations
✔ Develop new market mechanism
How to get into contact with Ofgem
Business energy consumers can contact Ofgem by:
Phone: 020 7901 7295
Visit the Ofgem site for more information there are also a number of regional offices that businesses can visit.
Ofgem is an important resource for business energy consumers. They can provide help with a range of issues, including billing problems, contract disputes, and complaints handling. Ofgem also provides a number of resources for business energy consumers, such as a price comparison tool, a business energy guide, and advice on energy efficiency.