Ofgem is set to be given a number of new powers as the Government looks to tackle market manipulation in the energy industry.
The energy regulator will be able to impose unlimited fines on firms found guilty of attempting to manipulate the market.
It will also be given the power to inspect premises and seize relevant data under the new Regulation of Wholesale Energy Markets and Transparency (REMIT) legislation announced by Ed Davey.
Discussing the new powers, the energy secretary, Ed Davey, said:"It is vital that we have all weapons at our disposal in the fight against unlawful activity in the energy market.
"It is my role to protect consumers, particularly the most vulnerable, who can suffer the most when markets are abused.
"That's why I have given Ofgem new powers to deal with market manipulation and insider dealing in wholesale gas and electricity."
The powers granted to Ofgem under the REMIT legislation, will arm it far more power than it has previously had, with the threat of higher financial powers a far more potent weapon in its arsenal.
The Government has thus far been slow to introduce the measures however, and will now have to try to force them through before the end of June to comply with demands from Brussels.
Commenting on the REMIT legislation, Ofgem senior partner for markets, Andrew Wright, said: "These powers complement the work we are doing to improve liquidity and transparency in energy markets, and our broader reforms to improve consumer trust and confidence."
As well as giving Ofgem more power to deal with energy firms, the Government is also working alongside said companies to offer customers subsidies on energy improving measures such as new energy efficient boiler or loft and wall insulation through its Green Deal initiative, launched at the end of January.
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