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Citizens Advice says Ofgem commitments to be tougher on energy networks “good news for consumers”

12 July 2017

Citizens Advice has today welcomed the announcement by the energy regulator Ofgem that it will set tougher limits on the money that energy networks can make from 2021. Ofgem has said that when it sets the next price control for these companies, they should expect lower returns.

The national charity has also called on the energy network firms to return their excess profits from the current price control to consumers through a rebate on their bills.

Victoria MacGregor, Director of Energy at Citizens Advice, said:

“It’s good news for consumers that the regulator has committed to tougher controls on the amount of money that energy networks can make.

“It is important to remember that consumers are paying for the £7.5bn of unjustified profits that the businesses responsible for gas and electricity networks are making over the current 8 year price control - so it is welcome that Ofgem is taking action to stop this being repeated.

“Ofgem is right to recognise the need to stop consumers overpaying by setting a lower cost of capital that properly reflects how risky these businesses are for investors, as well as the actual cost of debt.

“However, it shouldn’t just be a case of reducing costs in the future - energy networks can help consumers now by providing a rebate on their bills to account for the unjustified profits.  If they don’t do it off their own back the government should consider stepping in.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.