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Farcical, parasitical Ofgem delays and delays and delays and……….

Firstly, my latest book DON’T BUY IT! is now available on Amazon in either paperback or for Kindle – I’d be grateful if people could show support for this site by buying copies for themselves, friends and family

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Buy-David-Craig/dp/1909869937/ref=sr_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395984912&sr=1-14&keywords=don%27t+buy+it

By learning about salespeople’s many tricks and traps revealed in the book, readers will save themselves an awful lot more than the modest cost of the book.

Now Ofgem. I imagine everyone is aware that after massive public and political pressure, the dolts at the energy regulator Ofgem have finally decided to act. Well, sort of act. Ofgem has asked another regulator – the newly created Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – to investigate the energy market and in particular the stranglehold on the market by the ‘Big Six’ energy companies. This announcement was greeted with great excitement by journalists in the mainstream media. But, as usual with big stories, my cynical website snouts-in-the-trough is not quite so ecstatic over this news. Here are the three reasons why I am not bowled over by Ofgem’s announcement:

1. Ofgem is the regulator Ofgem is meant to regulate the energy market. But after years of complete passivity, Ofgem hands the problem over to yet another regulator in the full knowledge that this will delay the need for Ofgem to take any meaningful action for at least another two years. This would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious

2. Market abuse has been obvious for a long time Here’s a simple chart that shows the Big Six have been abusing their market control for years to extract massive profits. When wholesale energy prices go up, the price we pay goes up. When wholesale prices go down, the price we pay doesn’t go down (click to see more clearly)

Wholesale-v-retail-electricity6-1024x724

(The blue line is the wholesale price, the red line is the retail price we pay)

Ofgem has had this information for years and done absolutely nothing to protect consumers. And, of course, by referring the whole issue to another regulator, Ofgem continues to do nothing.

3. Ofgem keeps taking ever more of our money for itself While doing nothing to protect us from the predatory activities of the Big Six energy companies, the bureaucrats at Ofgem have been very active in feathering their own nests with our money. The cost of Ofgem’s staff has more than doubled from £18.6m in 2006/7 (just before the recession) to an incredible £43.3m by 2012/3. What about the Government’s “we’re all in this together” austerity? At the same time the overall cost of Ofgem to us has rocketed up from £33m just before the recession to over £73m now.

ofgem costs

Moreover, the average employee cost (salary, social security and pension) at Ofgem is an eye-watering £59,396. Crikey, that’s more than the good people at the BBC’s supposed “charity” Sport Relief get paid. And most of the big bosses at Ofgem are on salaries of around £200,000 or more a year.

This is a farce! This is worse than a farce! Ofgem is in the pockets of the Big Six energy companies. And we should treat Ofgem’s great announcement of yet another enquiry with a monumental amount of cynicism.

Are we being scammed? Yes we are!

4 comments to Farcical, parasitical Ofgem delays and delays and delays and……….

  • It's a Gas, man.

    EXACTLY what is Ofgem’s job? To regulate and investigate
    Lecky/Gas-stuff.
    What exactly have Ofgem FAILED TO DO? Regulate and investigate Lecky/Gas-stuff.
    EXACTLY what has Ofgem asked the CMA to do?
    Investigate Lecky/Gas-stuff.
    The head of Ofgem must resign. And pay back his salary. And profusely apologise.

    Moving on…. Eighteen months for CMA to complete the review. {This is a period provided for in legislation*}
    A further 6 months on top for appeals. {This is a period also provided for in legislation*}
    Plus the investigation has a very narrow brief.
    It won’t cover most stuff. Like:
    Renewable’s
    (Alleged man-made) climate impact by energy company’s
    environmental impact,
    Fuel poverty,
    Overseas ownership & profit siphoning combined with cross subsidisation to their own domestic market.
    Strategic Energy security – This last one is a huge issue
    and leaves the uk open to extortion by enemy foreign powers. (Hint, they pointed nukes at us for 50 years)
    (I knew zero about this stuff till 6am this morning
    when 5 live reported this Ofgem/CMA farce)

    The review should be thorough and take, at most, a Month to do.
    However it won’t alter a goddamn thing. For at least 2.5 years. And prob not even then.
    In any real way.
    Like, you know…..making my Lecky/Gas bills a lot lower.
    This is a con.
    Ever get the feeling you’ve been swindled.

    *Change the legislation to make the review take a month.
    It’s not difficult. We invade and bomb foreign countries and nick their oil with no legislation or public support.
    {Maybe the Essex beautician was correct and President Barraco Barner (Google it) really is in charge of the UK.}
    So making the review take only 30 days would be dead easy.

  • shortchanged

    How timely, I moved into my present house, 1 year 5 months ago and have not yet received a power, (gas and electric) bill. After many requests, by phone, email, letter, still no bill.. I received a letter saying that If I am not in, when some one calls, they, N-POWER, have the right to BATTER DOWN THE DOOR to enter my house, so they can read the metres. The gas metre is outside and I have even sent them a map. I am now a prisoner in my own home, if I go out to do some shopping I may return to find my door off its hinges, and it is all legal for them to do it. After sending metre readings 11 times they still will not send a bill.
    At the time I nominated N_POWER as my provider they were the cheapest in this area, now they are the most expensive and I want to change but I cannot due to the ‘dispute’, so called.
    In the 47 years spent living and working overseas, I have never known such incompetence and downright arrogance by a company in a matter such as this. I realise its not the forum for this sort of thing but,
    can someone please help?.

  • Dr. R. D. Feltham

    Another failure of Ofgem has been to not properly deal with problems highlighted to it concerning errors in the way in which gas metering has been continually corrupted. For example, many years ago now when the standard Correction Factor was introduced to allow gas suppliers not to have to calculate gas kWhrs with correction for altitude and temperature etc., it was known and recognised that the blanket approximation agreed would only continue to be tolerable if the unit price of gas did not rise much. This was stated in the formal announcement. Since then of course as we all know the unit price of gas has increased by many fold. As a result all consumers are now being continuously overcharged for the gas which they consume, due to this approximation now having become grossly inaacurate. Despite being informed of this by various consumers (some of whom having expert knowledge) Ofgem have rejected all complaints and done nothing to correct this now major error in gas metering.

    Then there is also the issue of most older gas meters being situated indoors in a centrally-heated house. Without going into the details here since it is a bit complicated for some (Boyles law and all that), this gives rise to the suppliers charging for more kWhrs than have actually been consumed. The only way to beat them at their own game for this rip-off is to have your gas meter moved outdoors onto your most North-facing wall.

    And so it goes on; the tricks they use in gas metering to deliberately overcharge you are manifold. Despite all of these being the subject of complaints to Ofgem they as usual will do nothing to stem the criminal profits being made by the gas suppliers out of these universal scams. Don’t imagine that so-called Smart Meters will correct these errors as they claim; they will make no difference to these errors in metering at all. Indeed where anyone allows a Smart Meter to be fitted they will be charged even more since these consume your electricity charged to you for the telemetry. You can at present refuse to have one of these, so the best thing is to refuse. See http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/

  • MGJ

    A phrase reported to be in common usage in the pharmaceutical industry is “regulator capture”. This refers to the situation whereby the regulators feel their aims are entirely aligned with those of the companies they supposedly regulate, while viewing the public as a problem needing to be managed.

    If the fact that it has been government policy to raise energy prices falls outside the remit of the inquiry then that gives everybody a nice get out clause, does it not, when/if it ever reports. Not-me-guv all round – situation normal, nothing achieved but lots of rich lawyers and bureaucrats.

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