What does Ofgem stand for?
Ofgem is a government body that promotes competition amongst gas and electricity companies and protects the needs of consumers. Ofgem stands for “Office of Gas and Electricity Markets” and was formed in 1999 by merging all of the separate regulatory bodies at the time.
Although Ofgem is known as the energy industry watchdog and regulator, it is governed by the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA), who ensure Ofgem operates with efficiency and effectiveness in the consumer's interest.
What does Ofgem do?
Ofgem sets and regulates the energy price cap which determines the upper limit of how much energy companies across the UK can charge per unit of energy. While you shouldn’t have any need to contact Ofgem in most cases, they oversee and have influence over most parts of the energy industry. Ofgem also carries out work in the gas and electricity markets centred around their four core themes:
Value for money
As well as setting the energy price cap, Ofgem encourages energy companies to provide consumers with clearer information about their products (such as tariff options), prices and available savings where applicable.
Ofgem encourages network companies to keep interruptions to your power supply to a minimum. Generation and supply companies are incentivised to make sure that the energy taken from the National Grid balances with the energy their customers consume.
It’s Ofgem’s role to promote sustainability by limiting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing renewable power sources. This also includes supporting the improvement of all aspects of the environment.
Government energy scheme delivery
Much of Ofgem’s work revolves around implementing and ensuring compliance for Government schemes like Feed-in Tariffs (FIT), the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the ECO Scheme. These schemes are part of the UK’s environmental sustainability targets.
How do Ofgem handle complaints?
Ofgem doesn't directly handle energy supplier complaints. Instead, they keep records about the number and type of complaints made about different energy providers as part of its market monitoring activity. Ofgem publishes this data that allow you to check how suppliers perform with customer services like response times, complaints and more. All of which can help you differentiate a good supplier from a great one.
Switchcraft is a free auto switching service that scours the energy market for great gas and electricity deals. Signing up takes 3 minutes and after that, our technology automatically switches you to new deals each year. Save money on your bills without lifting a finger.