Unite’s Sharon Graham blasts Ofgem as ‘not fit for purpose’

'The price cap may be down but energy bills for millions of households will still be crippling'.

Cost of living

Unite the union’s General Secretary Sharon Graham has slammed Ofgem as ‘not fit for purpose’, as it announced today that it was slashing the energy price cap.

The energy regulator announced a drop to its energy price cap from the current £3,280 per year to £2,074 for the average household in England, Wales and Scotland. The change in the cap will come into force from July 1.

However, a number of experts have warned that the change will lead to little benefit for consumers. Households still face bills up 80% on pre-crisis levels this year and around 6.5 million households will still be in fuel poverty, even once bills fall in July.

Ahead of the announcement of the latest cap, Unite said in a statement today: “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’s general secretary 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.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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