Helm exposes that competition in the sector is in fact a mirage and radical overhaul is required if the fleecing of consumers is to stop and damage to vital infrastructure through thousands of short-sighted job losses at SSE, NPower and across the energy sector are to be avoided says GMB
GMB, the energy union, calls on the Government to urgently implement many of the recommendations of Dieter Helm’s ‘Cost of Energy Review’ - in particular those regarding Government’s role in the energy market and the downgrading of OFGEM, which GMB has long argued for. [See note 1 for some key points from Helm’s review]
The recommendations to downgrade Ofgem and for the government to establish independent national and regional systems operators would allow Ofgem and its £90m annual budget to return to its former ‘littleness,’ significantly reducing the regulatory burden and its costs.
GMB again warns that the combination of uncertainty caused by lack of clarity and delays in implementing a price cap, plus the risks of getting the balance wrong, could lead to thousands of short-sighted job cuts in the energy sector as firms enter a race to the bottom in the energy supply market to protect profits.
The announcement from SSE and NPower that they plan to merge suggests less competition in the energy sector not more, as companies adjust to the pressures of a price cap and the Big Six become the Big Five.
Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary for Energy said:
“We are at a watershed in terms of the UK’s energy policy, where clarity and leadership by Government are desperately needed if we are to make the right decisions for the country’s future.“
By explicitly recognising that Government is now responsible for all key decisions in the energy sector, and that all the players are in effect contractors, the Helm Report has shone a spotlight on the huge inadequacies in energy generation and supply that we face as a country and which must be addressed without delay.
“Hesitation by Government to face up to these massive structural issues, of which price capping is just a part, have spawned merger efforts by two of the Big Six suppliers already as they rush to protect profits no doubt by trying to shed thousands of good, UK jobs.
“As Helm exposes, competition in the Sector is in fact a mirage and radical overhaul is required if the fleecing of consumers is to stop and damage to vital infrastructure through thousands of short-sighted job losses at SSE, NPower and across the energy sector are to be avoided.“The Helm Report also wants to stop the rip-offs by the Renewables sector.”
Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
Key points from Dieter Helm’s ‘Cotst of Energy Review’
11. The government should establish an independent national system operator (NSO) and regional system operators (RSOs) in the public sector, with relevant duties to supply, and take on some of the obligations in the relevant licences from the regulated transmission and distribution companies. The NSO and the RSOs should, where practical, open up the various functions and enhancements to the networks to competitive auctions and, at the local level, invite bids for network enhancements,generation and storage, and demand-side response (DSR) from energy service companies.
12. The separate generation, supply and distribution licences, at least at the local level, should be replaced by a simpler, single licence.
13. As a result of the above changes, the role of Ofgem in network regulation should be significantly diminished.
?Full repoert here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-energy-independent-review
Previous press releases:
GMB Calls Again for 'toothless' Ofgem To Be Scrapped
Monday, July 3, 2017
Ofgem should be abolished with all its regulatory functions taken over by the government itself making its regulatory role subject to scrutiny and accountable to parliament says GMB.
GMB Response To Energy Price Cap
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Ofgem must distinguish between profiteering and the resources needed to generate jobs and pay for the infrastructure needed to maintain our power networks says union.
GMB Responds To Theresa May's renewed pledge for Energy Price Cap at Tory Conference
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Ofgem should be abolished and all its regulatory functions taken over by the government itself, making its regulatory role subject to scrutiny and accountable to parliament with the powers to cap prices if deemed necessary part of the forthcoming legislation says GMB.
Ofgem Must Be Scrapped
Thursday, August 4, 2016
GMB Calls For Ofgem To Be Scrapped And For Government To Take Over As Regulator Accountable To Parliament
Government cannot duck taking the decisions needed to keep the lights on and ensure the decarbonisation of the sector says GMB