Ofgas failed poorest customers, say MPs
Thursday 22 January 1998
In a hard-hitting report, the Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee also urged Ofgas not to press ahead regardless with the existing timetable for opening up the market, warning that it could pose major risks.
The MPs said that socially disadvantaged customers paying by pre-payment meters had benefited least from competition and expressed concern that Ofgas had failed to tackle this issue until May of this year, more than 12 months after the market began to be liberalised.
The report urged Ofgas to introduce measures that allow pre-payment customers to share in the "full benefits resulting from competition" before the next tranche of competition begins next month among 2.8 million households in Yorkshire and the North-west.
After intervention by Ofgas, Centrica, the old trading arm of British Gas, agreed to offer increased discounts to pre-payment customers. But they are still below the level for direct debit customers, while the discrepancies are even greater on tariffs offered by some independent gas suppliers.
The roll-out of competition nationwide is due to be completed in May when 3.2 million customers in London and Surrey get the chance to shop around.
The MPs also call for a new regulatory mechanism to mirror the emergence of suppliers offering both gas and electricity under so-called dual fuel deals. Ofgas and the electricity regulator, Offer, are due to publish new guidelines in this area.
- Michael Harrison
- 1 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we know about Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
'Jihadi John': Mohammed Emwazi – from British computer programmer to Isis executioner
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...