The Informer

The National Audit Office (NAO) has said energy regulator Ofgem that it needs to prove it is protecting consumers.

The warning came alongside criticism for three other regulators – water watchdog Ofwat, communications body Ofcom and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The NAO said regulators need to measure their own performance.

Auditors said the biggest problem facing consumers was debt caused by rising prices, with gas up 28% and electricity up 37% in real terms since 2007.

Not specific enough

The NAO said: “The regulators in this review have good insight into consumer concerns and issues."

“However, they are not sufficiently specific and targeted in setting out what overall outcomes they want to achieve for consumers, and therefore what information they need to evaluate and report on their overall performance robustly."

“Regulators are all taking steps to improve how they define, measure and report their performance in protecting consumers, but all have further to go to do so in a meaningful way.”

An Ofgem spokesperson said:

“We agree with the National Audit Office that regulators need to effectively measure their impact to help deliver the best possible outcomes for consumers. Ofgem has already made progress in this area; last year for example we published our first Consumer Impact Report measuring how much our regulatory decisions were expected to benefit consumers and we also publish annual reports on the state of the energy market and on the situation of vulnerable consumers."

“We’ll keep working closely with other regulators to identify what further steps we can take to improve the way we measure our performance.”

> Download the NAO's report