Sharon Graham: Ofgem is ‘the regulator that won’t regulate’

On the eve of the new price cap, Sharon Graham, the leader of Unite, has accused Ofgem of being the “regulator that won’t regulate” which is “no longer fit for purpose”.

Ofgem is preparing to unveil the new price cap level, which will be implemented from 1 July. But UK energy bills will continue at nearly double the level of October 2021. This means millions of households will still remain in dire fuel poverty despite the new price cap.

Throughout this grave cost-of-living crisis, Ofgem has steadfastly protected the profits of Big Energy as its number one priority, instead of defending workers and their families. Its handling of the prepayment meter scandal was a disgrace. Centrica/British Gas, on its way to £3 billion profits in 2022, was breaking down the doors of its poorest customers to forcibly install pre-payment meters. Ofgem gave Centrica a slap on the wrist. It is not fit for purpose.

Commenting on Ofgem’s latest price cap, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The price cap may be down but energy bills for millions of households will still be crippling. 

“In this moment of crisis we needed a powerful energy regulator which would be on the front foot fighting the profiteering of the UK’s energy companies. Instead we have a regulator that won’t regulate, rampant Big Energy plundering the economy and a government that’s permanently looking the other way.

“The pre-payment meter scandal demonstrates for all those who haven’t realised that Ofgem is no longer fit for purpose. No wonder half the board have been sent on their way. It’s time to face facts. Time to bring the energy profiteers into public ownership. That would create a real Ofgem.”


Notes to editors:  

Unite Investigates “Renationalising Energy - costs and savings considers how a publicly run energy network could use the massive profits of Britain’s energy giants to reduce household bills and fund the transition to a green future with secure jobs. 

Unite Investigates’ report is the first to determine the potential costs and savings of taking public control of the entire UK energy network – including North Sea oil and gas production, electricity generation, transmission and distribution networks, and supply companies.

Contact: Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315 

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Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.