"A lack of transparency about energy company profits is undermining trust in the energy market and Ofgem is not taking all the action necessary to tackle the issue and restore consumer confidence, MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee have warned in a new report. They want to see a competitive energy market with profitable companies able to invest in Britain's future energy infrastructure."
Inspite of the fact that the Big Six are being deliberately opaque about how their profits are distributed across their vertically integrated businesses, DECC defends their right to corporate confidenciality whilst at the same time deciding to shower them in vast amounts of bill payer and tax payer cash to guarantee profits no matter what they do, or don't do, to deserve it. It is clearly Ofgem that is to blame not DECC, the Treasury or Parliament, as outlined on page 3 of the report...
"Ofgem is failing consumers by not taking all possible steps to improve transparency and openness in the energy market. That the regulator has not taken up accountancy firm BDO's recommendations to improve energy company reporting or listened to criticism over Supply Market Indicators is astonishing and lays it open to criticism that it is unwilling to use the teeth it has. Considering consumers' lack of confidence in energy companies, Ofgem should consider whether the transparency to be gained by implementing BDO's recommendations outweighs the costs involved."
The Government remains blameless, except for a paragraph or two on page 4 relating to fuel poverty:
"The Government must not forget that rising prices are exacerbating fuel poverty."
"Ministers have been unacceptably slow to respond to the Hills Review [on Fuel Povery] and take action to stem the problem."
Well it looks like the committee are the ones being unacceptably slow here. The committee on Energy and Climate Change will now be pleased to note that DECC have taken decisive action on Fuel Poverty: at least a million people are now out of fuel poverty by the simple trick of saying that all households that spend less than the median amount on fuel can no longer be considered fuel poor by definition.
That problem sorted! Only necessary to blame Ofgem now...