Ofgem working to deliver a more competitive, fairer energy market for all consumers

Publication date
3rd August 2016
Information types
Policy areas
  • CMA remedies are an opportunity to deliver a more competitive, fairer energy market for all consumers
  • Ofgem will work closely with suppliers to help disengaged customers save money 
  • We are working to deliver other changes like smart meters and faster switching which will help transform the market

Ofgem has today outlined our approach to the remedies the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) has recommended. We will implement these to deliver a more competitive and fairer energy market for all consumers.

The CMA’s two year investigation, which concluded last month, confirmed that two thirds of households are disengaged and paying over the odds for their energy compared to those who have switched tariff.

The remedies are aimed at freeing up competition and innovation in the market to drive down bills and improve service for all consumers not just a minority.

Those on pre-payment meters, who are among the most vulnerable and least likely to switch, will be protected by an interim price cap which will save them around £75 a year from next April.

Ofgem will work closely with suppliers to help disengaged customers, who remain on expensive standard variable tariffs, to shop around and save money. In particular it will trial more effective prompts on customers’ bills to encourage them to compare tariffs. Next year Ofgem will pilot the database service, which will allow suppliers to offer disengaged customers better value deals. Protecting the privacy and security of consumers’ data remains a priority.

Ofgem has published a separate consultation today on the CMA’s proposals to remove parts of its Retail Market Reforms so consumers can enjoy a wider choice of innovative good value deals. Ofgem has also consulted on its approach to the CMA’s recommendation to remove the requirement on price comparison websites to display all the tariffs on the market.

Combined with other changes already happening, such as smart meters and faster switching, these remedies provide an opportunity to transform the energy market. Ofgem will be continuing our Be An Energy Shopper marketing campaign this autumn encouraging consumers to save around £300 a year by shopping around.

Ofgem’s annual review of the retail energy market, also published today, confirmed that the majority of consumers who do not engage in the market are losing out. It also found that the proportion of people on expensive standard variable tariffs has dropped from 69% last year to 66% in March this year as switching rates increase.

Ofgem Chief Executive, Dermot Nolan said: “The CMA’s final report is a watershed moment for industry and consumers and points the way to a fairer and more competitive future. I call on energy companies and consumer groups to seize this opportunity.”

Notes to editors

  1. CMA remedy implementation strategy
  2. Helping consumers make informed choices – proposed changes to rules around tariff comparability and marketing
  3. Confidence Code review 2016 consultation
  4. Retail energy markets in 2016

Related content published today

  1. Statutory consultations on the removal of certain Retail Market Review Simpler Tariff Choices rules 
  2. Consumer engagement in the energy market since the Retail Market Review: 2016 survey findings
  3. Quarterly update of Ofgem’s data portal
  4. Consultation on monitoring trends in suppliers’ expected costs
  5. Wholesale energy markets in 2016
  6. Wholesale power market liquidity: Annual report 2016

About Ofgem

Ofgem is the independent energy regulator for Great Britain. Its priority is to make a positive difference for consumers by promoting competition in the energy markets and regulating networks.

For facts, figures and information about Ofgem’s work, see Energy facts and figures or visit the Ofgem Data Portal

Follow us on Twitter @ofgem and LinkedIn

Further information

For further press information contact:

Lisa O’Brien: 0207 901 7426

Mark Wiltsher: 0207 901 7006

Ruth Sommerville: 0207 901 7460 

Out of hours: 07766 511 470