Ofgem Chief: "We could have done better, and should have done better, for vulnerable customers"
MPs said the regulator's inaction has led to higher energy bills
Ofgem, and it's boss Dermot Nolan, were criticised yesterday by members of Parliament’s Business and Energy Committee for not doing enough to protect the most vulnerable - especially in light of the regulator dishing out nearly £1m in bonuses last year to staff.
The committee laid strong criticism onto Ofgem's recent performance, claiming that the regulator did not do enough to protect customers from big energy companies. Some said he had not been fast enough in bringing forward the price cap on energy bills (which has since been drafted into a government bill).
Nolan did not necessarily disagree, saying "We could have done better, and should have done better, for vulnerable customers". He also added the proposed government cap should “go a long way towards fixing the market” for those on some of the most expensive Standard Variable Tariffs. He did however also warn that "I cannot guarantee that some prices will not rise". Mr Nolan as warned that such a cap may also make suppliers move away from incentives that persuade customers to comparison shop, and switch suppliers.
Rachel Reeves, chair of the committee, was also pointed in her comments about the nearly £1m in bonuses Ofgem distributed to staff last year "...at the same time that vulnerable customers are paying more than they should on their expensive bills."
Nolan responded that the bonuses were within the civil service guidelines; and that he would not personally be getting a bonus this year.