Consultation outcome: Strengthening enforcement in gas and electricity markets

Updated: Government response published.

Experience has shown that some of the current provisions in gas and electricity legislation do not work as well as originally intended, restricting Ofgem’s ability to regulate as effectively as it might. This paper sets out proposals to refine Ofgem’s powers so it is better equipped to investigate possible non-compliance and take action to protect consumers.

The proposed measures are:

  • New time limits for compliance orders so Ofgem has more time to complete investigations and can make better use of these orders.
  • Wider powers to request information from businesses so it can establish whether they are committing an offence by supplying gas or electricity without a licence.
  • A broader statutory ability for Ofgem to require licensed businesses to engage skilled persons who will investigate and report on compliance-related matters on its behalf.
  • A flexible new power for Ofgem to investigate market abuse by allowing it to remove documents from premises and sift these elsewhere to establish whether they are relevant to the investigation and a new gateway for the Competition and Markets Authority to disclose relevant information to Ofgem.
  • A new ability for Ofgem to impose penalties on businesses with little or no turnover so it has an effective deterrent to use in such cases.