Ofgem introduces new tougher entry tests for energy suppliers
Companies applying for a licence to supply energy will have to undergo more stringent tests from June in order to help drive up standards for customers and reduce the risk of supplier failure.
- New tests for energy suppliers entering the market will be rolled out from June this year
- Applicants will have to demonstrate sufficient funding, provide a customer service plan and pass a fit and proper test
- Ofgem will be launching a consultation on ongoing requirements for suppliers currently in the market in the summer
Applicants will need to demonstrate they can adequately fund their operations for their first year, outline how they expect to comply with key regulatory and market obligations, and show their intentions to provide a proper level of customer service.
Directors and major shareholders of companies applying for a licence, as well as senior managers, will also have to show they are ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence.
Ofgem will consult on new proposals in the summer with the aim of raising standards of existing suppliers. This will include considering new reporting requirements for suppliers who are already active in the market and rules around how suppliers manage customer credit balances. Ofgem will also review the arrangements for suppliers exiting the market.
Over the last decade more consumers have benefited from competition in the energy market, which has driven down energy prices, helped to raise customer service standards and provided more choice.
However, in the last 18 months, a number of suppliers have failed many of whom provided a poor level of customer service.
Following these supplier failures, Ofgem’s ‘safety net’ has protected domestic customers’ credit balances and ensured all customers’ energy supply continues. Ofgem acknowledges that customers can still experience inconvenience and worry if their supplier fails.
Strengthening entry and ongoing requirements on suppliers will help to drive up customer service standards and reduce the risk of disorderly supplier exits.
Ofgem aims to minimise the impact, including the cost, that a supplier failure has on consumers and the wider market.
Mary Starks, executive director of consumers and markets at Ofgem, said:
“In an ever-evolving market, Ofgem’s objective is to protect consumers while also ensuring they enjoy the benefits of increased competition and innovation that successful new firms entering the market bring.
“Applying new requirements on suppliers entering and operating in the market will aid us to weed out those that are underprepared, under-resourced and unfit. This will help minimise the risk of supplier failure and help drive up standards for consumers.
“We will adopt a proportionate, risk-based approach to licensing suppliers and will continue to encourage competition and innovation, including innovative business models, which benefits consumers.”
Notes to editors
- Supplier Licensing Review: Final proposals on new entry requirements has been published today
- The consultation on new draft statutory instruments, application regulations, application forms and guidance document has been published today.
For media, contact
Michelle Amos: 020 7901 1881
Media out of hours mobile: 07766 511470 (media calls only)
General enquiries (non-media)
If you are an energy customer looking for help and advice, including complaints about energy firms, please see our Household gas and electricity guide. Citizens Advice also provide a free, impartial helpline service across a range of issues on 03454 040506.
If you have an enquiry or complaint relating to Ofgem’s policies or functions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7901 7295.
For all other non-media related enquiries, please visit our Contact us page.
Ofgem is the independent energy regulator for Great Britain. Its priority is to make a positive difference for consumers by promoting competition in the energy markets and regulating networks.
For energy insights and updates straight to your inbox from Ofgem, please subscribe.
Latest News from
Ofgem publishes price cap decisions ahead of update05/08/2020 10:15:00
Ofgem has today published three decisions relating to the price protection provided to default tariff and prepayment customers following its statutory consultations published in May.
Ofgem proposals to ‘turn your street green’, transforming local electricity networks31/07/2020 10:33:00
Ofgem yesterday set out its proposals to rewire Britain at a local level to deliver a greener and fairer energy system for British consumers.
Fairer energy deals for microbusinesses30/07/2020 13:15:00
Ofgem has unveiled plans to tackle unscrupulous energy brokers so millions of microbusinesses can get a better deal.
Ofgem investigates United Gas and Power Ltd’s billing and communications activities16/07/2020 13:15:00
Ofgem is launching an investigation into whether United Gas and Power breached rules around billing, meter reading and communications.
Ofgem proposes £25 billion to transform Great Britain’s energy networks09/07/2020 14:48:00
Ofgem has unveiled proposals for a five-year investment programme of around £25 bn to transform Britain's energy networks to deliver emissions-free green energy for GB along with world-class service and reliability.
More help for prepayment customers and those struggling with bills30/06/2020 13:15:00
Ofgem is consulting on plans to standardise and strengthen support for prepayment customers and for all customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills.
Ofgem publishes final proposals on raising standards for existing suppliers26/06/2020 13:15:00
Ofgem has published its final proposals for new ongoing requirements for suppliers to drive up customer service standards, reduce the risk of supplier failure and strengthen the safety net for consumers if a supplier fails.
£60 million savings on new Hinkley Point C grid link22/05/2020 12:15:00
Energy regulator Ofgem has confirmed its decision to cut the proposed cost of the Hinkley-Seabank project by £60m, saving consumers money on their bills.