Sadly it comes as no surprise when Martin Lewis announced today on his Twitter feed that Ofgem have effectively ignored the lobbying by Martin and others concerning the increase in the last energy price standing charges.
Ofgem was created back in the 1980s to monitor and regulate the energy companies when Margaret Thatcher privatised and liberalised the energy market. It’s primary aims are supposed to be:
Promote the security and sustainability of the UK’s energy supply
Promote value for money in relation to energy tariffs
Overseeing and establishing competition within the energy market
Regulating government schemes and aiding in their delivery
Reading the above it’s pretty blatant that they’re ignoring most if not all of their so called aims and principles that were created to uphold on behalf of the consumer. It’s clear to see that Ofgems priority appears to lie with the government and the energy companies, certainly not the public.
What is the point in their very existence now? The recent price cap increase is at the very least disproportionate forcing many into a no heat or eat crisis.
More about that later.
Martin Lewis has also very kindly completed a bit of energy maths to make the situation clearer;
Ofgem designs the price cap set to limit “the level of profits an energy supplier can make to 1.9%”
So worth noting if you double the price cap. While the margin stays the same. The total profits can double.
So whilst we are likely to have a very cold and hungry winter wondering how the hell we’ll manage I believe that its totally immoral that the energy companies will be able to profit in this manner.
Why is Ofgem being allowed to continue to support the profiteering of the energy companies whilst failing in their duty to promote value for money in relation to energy tariffs?
Why are all requests to lower the price cap increases on behalf of the public being ignored, pushed away in favour of the energy companies?
Why isn’t Ofgem regulating government schemes like they profess to be doing?
Ofgem adjusts the energy cap to reflect the costs faced by suppliers on wholesale energy markets, whilst ignoring the profits made by said companies therefore prioritising the companies before the public and the high costs that they are facing.
However not all is well within the regulator. At the beginning of August Christine Farnish, non – executive of Ofgem resigned as business director stating that she did not believe that the regulator had struck the right balance between the interests of consumers and interests of suppliers.
So it seems that at least someone working for Ofgem had a conscience, but it doesn’t help the consumer as yet again the regulator and rather unsurprisingly the government have ignored her concerns.
If, as predicted the price cap uplift expected in January 2023 increases the cost to the consumer to beyond £4,200 forcing many consumers into even further fuel poverty, not being able to afford to eat or heat. This combined with the rise in inflation which has exacerbated a cost of living crisis leaving many not being able to live any quality of life.
The reality is that already the cost of living crisis has put UK food banks under increasing pressure as more people are pushed into food poverty.
A survey from the Independent Food Aid Network in May 2022 found that 93 per cent of independent food banks in the UK reported an increase or significant increase in services from the start of 2022.
A further 80 per cent of organisations also reported that they have struggled with food supply issues in the past four months and 78 per cent noticed a drop in food and financial donations.
Overall, 95 per cent of the food banks surveyed by the Independent Food Aid Network attributed this directly to the cost of living crisis.
This is already resulting in a shortage of food donations made by the public, combined with an increase in the cost of food has serious ramifications all the way down to the organisations at the front line, feeding people that are desperately in need of help.
Undoubtably resulting in food-banks to either close or reduce the amount of people they can help whilst the need for them is rising dramatically. Indeed, many are already oversubscribed leaving many without access to their services every week.
In October and then January when the price cap increases yet again the public won’t be facing heat or eat it’ll be NO eat and NO heat.
Think about this for a minute..
I’ve said this before, they’ll be deaths, lots of deaths and increasing admissions to hospitals for malnutrition and cold related health conditions. It’s the perfect storm, a total disaster that the Conservative party will never be able to walk away from, but you can bet they will.
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