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Ofgem and DECC do not have a clear vision say SSE

SSE’s Chief Executive Ian Marchant has criticized energy regulator Ofgem.

Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan

The statement, made in a speech to the Are Retail Markets in Turmoil? conference, is one of the strongest condemnations yet of the under-fire regulator.

Mr Marchant said: “Personally I believe that when it comes to the energy retail market, Ofgem and DECC do not have a clear vision.  They have good intentions but there is no clear vision with no clear measures of success.

He also criticized Ofgem’s proposals to limit the number of plans offered by suppliers in a bid to clean up the market:

“DECC and Ofgem get forced into a corner and react in the way they know how, to create rules and regulations, often in tight timelines and in the political and media spotlight.

“Because there is no overarching vision, there is a serious risk of meandering around from one piecemeal intervention to another. We are in turmoil, and I fear because of a lack of vision it will get worse before it gets better.”

The comments follow a recent report by the Energy Committee for Climate Change which criticized Ofgem for not doing more to make switching easier and allow new suppliers to enter the market.

In our round-up of possible 2013 energy stories we predicted that this could be a make-or-break year for the regulator. Mr Machant’s comments show just how serious a possibility this could be.