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Office of Gas and Electricity Markets -Government Department

 

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets - OFGEM - Regulator for Britain's gas and electricity industries.

 

About the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets - OFGEM

The first priority of Ofgem’s is to protect consumers. They do this by promoting competition, wherever appropriate, and regulating the monopoly companies which run the gas and electricity networks.

Other priorities and influences include:

  • helping to secure Britain’s energy supplies by promoting competitive gas and electricity markets - and regulating them so that there is adequate investment in the networks
  • contributing to the drive to curb climate change and other work aimed at sustainable development by, for example,
  • helping the gas and electricity industries to achieve environmental improvements as efficiently as possible; and
  • taking account of the needs of vulnerable customers, particularly older people, those with disabilities and those on low incomes

How are Ofgem governed?
Ofgem is governed by an Authority, consisting of non-executive and executive members and a non-executive chair. Non-executive members bring experience and expertise from a range of areas including industry, social policy, environmental work, finance and Europe. The Executive members of the Authority are Ofgem’s Chief Executive and three Managing Directors. The Authority determines strategy, sets policy priorities and takes decisions on a range of matters, including price controls and enforcement. The Authority's powers are provided for under the Gas Act 1986, the Electricity Act 1989, the Utilities Act 2000, the Competition Act 1998 and the Enterprise Act 2002.

Transparency
Ofgem tries to keep its operations transparent. Examples of practices that demonstrate this include:

  • publishing the minutes of its Authority meetings
  • an annual open meeting of the Authority
  • full and thorough consultation in developing decisions (including the development of its corporate strategy)

How are Ofgem funded?

Ofgem recover their costs from the licensed companies they regulate. Licensees are obliged to pay an annual licence fee which is set to cover our costs. Ofgem is independent of the companies they regulate. They operate under a 5 year cost control regime that runs 2004-2009. It pegs their expenditure growth at three percentage points below the retail price index. This will reduce their costs by more than five million pounds in real terms by 2010.

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