New energy watchdog launched

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A new body created to protect the interests of energy customers in the UK has come into force.

Consumer Focus has been established through a merger between the Consumer Council, energywatch and Postwatch, with the organisation expected to focus primarily on consumer complaints.

Through the new structure, energy regulator Ofgem will be responsible for finding companies that do not meet regulations enforced on the sector.

John Hutton, the government's business secretary, said the changes to the set-up of the consumer watchdogs would help people "get a better deal".

"One single body, rather than three, means a stronger voice holding business and government to account. It means a more joined up approach to tackling problems," he added.

Details about the new organisation have come after the Carbon Trust revealed that it has expanded its loans scheme for businesses that want to improve their energy efficiency.

The maximum loan that firms can now claim from the advice body has doubled to £200,000.

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