Dear David: day SIXTEEN of 20

Day SIXTEEN of TWENTY: Ofgem must take “stronger action”

Once again energy is all over the media…literally wall to wall coverage. If you go to this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20772975 you will read that “stronger action is needed to ensure energy customers get a fair deal, a committee of MPs has told the regulator Ofgem”.

That’s fantastic that MPs are so concerned for customers’ welfare that they are urging the regulator to ensure they get a fair deal. Oh but wait a moment, of course, you have to have a regulator for MPs to actually be interested in your plight, right?  So those lucky (yes I actually wrote that word “lucky”) people that are on mains gas and can therefore put their electricity and mains gas usage together in a discounted dual fuel option, also get MPs literally falling over themselves to campaign on their behalf, because they have a regulator to which they can defer.

But we are off-gas. We have no regulator. There is no higher power to which we can defer. We have the odd MP asking the OFT to take a look at what is going on. But here’s the thing, whilst many thousands of vulnerable people are put even further at risk because of what is going on out there in the shires, NOTHING IS BEING DONE.

Today’s news about energy companies is urging transparency. Well if you want to talk about transparency MPs then think about this:

  • if you live in Cornwall and you call the right number today you can still get your heating OIL delivered for 59.95ppl +vat before Christmas
  • make the wrong call and you will be charged 65.95ppl +vat to get OIL out by Christmas, but wait a moment if you can hang on until one day after Christmas the same supplier’s price is 59.95ppl +vat. That is a 6ppl surcharge for the privilege and that is simply wrong.

But that is nothing – we are back to the absolute bottom of the ethics barrel that we got to two years ago and we were told the industry would never stoop to again: one supplier in Hertfordshire offered to take an order off a tanker for tomorrow and replace it with ours if we were prepared to pay a delivery charge of £150+vat on top, of course, of the pence per litre price.

I don’t need to tell you what that is do I? But we have no regulator. So we have no MPs campaigning. And apparently we have no need for any media coverage.

Keep warm!

Chris Pomfret