The chief executive of Ofgem has responded to an article published in The Times that claimed the energy regulator had been too “soft” on the industry, and that this has contributed to customers being overcharged on their energy bills.

The article argued that the energy market was in “serious need of reform” as drops in wholesale prices have not been translated into lower bills and that “Ofgem has not done enough to help consumers get the best deal available”.

Responding on 13 January, Dermot Nolan wrote that the regulator had not been soft on industry and that The Times’ assertion lacked evidence. He pointed to the £200mn of penalties Ofgem has imposed on industry since 2010; the referral of the industry to the competition watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority; and a recent £26mn fine for RWE npower due to poor customer service as strong evidence against the criticism.

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