I would like to respond to your report of Ian Marchant's claims that Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have no clear vision for the reform of the retail energy market and no clear measures for success ("Ofgem has no vision, claims SSE chief Marchant", The Herald, January 18).
Ofgem's vision is for a simpler, clearer and fairer energy market which enables consumers to easily understand their tariff and get the best deal – while ensuring energy companies give them a fair deal. DECC shares our objectives.
Our review of the retail market found competition is being stifled by a combination of complex tariffs, poor supplier behaviour and lack of transparency. So our key goal is to make the market more competitive by ensuring people can look at their options and more simply make a decision about what is best for them. It could mean switching, staying on their current deal, or moving to a better deal with the current supplier. When consumers shop around it helps put pressure on suppliers to give consumers the best deal for each customer.
Our proposed new standards of conduct will require suppliers to treat customers fairly and take consumer needs into account in relation to all interactions. We believe this will lead to improved supplier behaviour and increased levels of consumer trust in the industry. We have spoken to consumers and used our research and analysis to inform policy development. We are also testing proposals to understand the impact on consumer engagement and switching in particular.
Andrew Wright, Senior partner, Markets Division, Ofgem,
9 Millbank, London.
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