U.K. regulator Ofgem looks to boost the consumer’s voice


Sir John Mogg,
London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — January 16, 2007 – U.K. energy regulator Ofgem has launched a project to improve the way it takes consumers’ interests into account in its decision making. The initiative was sparked by growing public awareness of issues such as smart metering, microgeneration and the rising cost of environmental programs, all of which make the question of what matters to consumers more complex.

This latest demonstration of Ofgem’s commitment to the consumer is part of its consultation on its Corporate Strategy. Commenting on the launch of the consultation, Ofgem chairman Sir John Mogg said: “Ofgem’s corporate strategy has been drawn up to cover a period when energy policy in Britain and across the rest of Europe is under profound review. U.K. energy policy will be largely determined by the March 2007 Energy White Paper, the Energy Bill and Climate Change Bill. The European Commission’s Strategic Energy Review and its conclusions to the energy sector inquiries have opened up the possibility for significant strides to be made in Europe’s energy policy.

“We will take account of all these factors during 2007 and ensure that we will continue to deliver for U.K. consumers.”

The project – Consumer First – will start by assessing how well Ofgem understands what matters to consumers now. It will also look at the scope for getting direct consumer contributions to Ofgem’s deliberations over policy on customer issues.

Ofgem’s chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: “In Consumer First we are taking the initiative to compare our performance with best practice. With climate change rising up the agenda, the question of where the consumer interest lies may not be so straightforward. We need to make sure we are using the best available tools and techniques to help us understand and respond to consumers’ priorities.”