COMMONS

Ofgem responds to CMA report

04 August 2016

Ofgem has published its plans for the future of energy markets; the Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee criticises changes to price comparison websites.

Chair's comments

Angus Brendan MacNeil MP has made the following statement on proposals by Ofgem and the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) to reform price comparison websites.

"Currently, price comparison websites (PCWs) must show consumers all available energy deals. My Committee, consumer groups and energy suppliers alike have criticised the CMA's plans to end this requirement. I applaud Ofgem for rejecting the CMA's recommendation. However, its proposed compromise would still allow PCWs to hide deals by default. Consumer engagement and trust in the energy market took a battering in recent years. PCWs can help fix this if they do what they say on the tin, keep doing what they are doing and don’t take loopholes offered by the CMA or Ofgem’s compromise."

He has also commented on measures, such as a database of 'sticky consumers', designed to improve consumer engagement.

"A database will help consumers switch, but Ofgem must keep data secure and prevent nuisance marketing. What the proposals fail to realise, however, is that not every problem can be solved by switching. Standard variable tariffs are punishing and the CMA missed the opportunity to address high prices across the board, rather than just for prepayment customers."

Further information

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