The GB electricity retail market

Full competition was introduced into Britain’s electricity retail market in 1999. Since then domestic and non-domestic consumers have been able to shop around for their electricity supplier.

Suppliers buy energy from the wholesale market or directly from generators and arrange for it to be delivered to the end consumer. They set the prices that consumers pay for the electricity that they use. Allowing consumers to choose their supplier helps to keep pressure on prices and drives better customer service. It also promotes innovation in products and services.

Our role is to make sure that the electricity retail market works in the interests of consumers. We do this by by monitoring the market and, where necessary, taking action to strengthen competition or enforce the rules with which suppliers must comply.

Over the coming decade, the roll-out of smart meters to homes and businesses has the potential to transform how the retail market operates to the benefit of consumers. These meters will be capable of measuring the amount of energy used in short time periods. They will also be capable of remote two-way communications.

We are responsible for ensuring that regulation protects and promotes the interests of consumers during the transition to smart metering and beyond.


Publications and updates

  • Published: 3rd May 2019
  • Open letters and correspondence, Reports and plans
  • 3 Associated documents
This opening statement launches our strategic review of the microbusiness energy market to better understand and address the issues faced by microbusinesses.

  • Published: 31st Jan 2019
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 1 Associated documents
Invitation to our Local Energy and the energy system transition event to discuss the emerging opportunities and challenges.

  • Published: 19th Sep 2018
  • Decisions
  • 0 Associated documents
Ofgem recently concluded its compliance engagement with Green Star Energy, the trading name of Hudson Energy Supply UK Ltd for domestic supply.

  • Published: 25th Jul 2018
  • Decisions
  • 0 Associated documents
Ofgem engaged with Bulb over its failure to offer pre-payment meters as a payment option to their customers.

  • Published: 17th Jul 2018
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 0 Associated documents
Ofgem’s response to a statement from Toto Energy’s CEO about its customer service which it published on 11 July.

  • Published: 28th Jun 2018
  • Decisions
  • 0 Associated documents
Ofgem has undertaken compliance action following the move of white label Ebico from SSE to Robin Hood Energy in 2017.

  • Published: 8th Dec 2017
  • Decisions
  • 0 Associated documents
The decision note outlines Ofgem’s reasons for closing its compliance engagement with Utilita on condition 28A of its gas and electricity supply licences.

  • Published: 24th Oct 2017
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
We give suppliers clarification on the requirements around tracker tariffs and elaborate on what could be seen as an ‘index’.

  • Published: 30th Jan 2017
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 17 Associated documents
We are issuing a decision implementing changes to standard conditions of the electricity and gas supply licences to introduce a new domestic licence condition.

  • Published: 3rd Jun 2015
  • Decisions
  • 9 Associated documents
Notifies stakeholders of GEMA’s decision to proceed with the licence modification to give effect to Ofgem's white label proposals.