Ofgem announces measures to improve energy market

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Energy regulator Ofgem announced today that it has given the energy supply industry notice to end practices that are failing some customers.

The regulator said in a statement it was "particularly concerned" to see that the 4.3 million customers without a gas supply or access to the most competitive offers were being affected by the behaviour of supply companies.

It proposed measures to ban "unfair price differences", such as the difference in costs between paying by Direct Debit and prepayment metres.

Other measures announced include tougher rules on doorstep selling and more transparency around finances.

Ofgem says it found no evidence of a cartel but can refer the market to the Competition Commission if the industry fails to deliver.

Meanwhile, government figures show that the number of households in fuel poverty is continuing to rise.

Five and a half million homes face a stark choice between heating and eating this winter due to rising fuel bills and lack of insulation, according to the Daily Mail.

Annual bills have increased by around £400 in the last year with a 50 per cent rise on gas prices and a 33 per cent rise on the cost of electricity.

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