The Mail on Sunday's recent article “Hard-up customers of energy firm OVO hit with shock emails telling them to pay hundreds of pounds in unexpected charges[1]” is a stark reminder of two glaring problems in the energy industry. Firstly, Ofgem needs to deliver on its promise to strengthen back-billing protections for customers. Secondly, smart meters need to deliver on their promise of accurate bills.

We welcome Ofgem’s consultation on approaches to local energy institutions and governance but would like Ofgem to think more deeply about the practical reality that local actors face in delivering net-zero. This includes Ofgem taking a far broader view of what ‘good outcomes’ look like in an energy world where place matters. We also want more discussion on how the Future System Operator is best-suited to the role of regional energy-system planner and market facilitator. 

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This was the second End User Forum in response to REMA. The aim of the forum, held in April 2023, was to understand attendees' views on different options for passing through locational signals to end users, if at all. Discussions focussed on the different ways signals could be passed through and fairness considerations.

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As part of its Review of Economic Regulation the government is considering reforming the appeals process for regulated utilities. This collection of articles written over a five-year period provides a blow by blow commentary by Maxine Frerk on appeals that have taken place across energy and water – drawing out lessons and bringing to life issues that government has raised.

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We agree with Ofgem that prepayment is a preferred payment method for many consumers given the budgeting control it offers. We are not in favour of a ban on prepayment provided suppliers are behaving responsibly, provide good service, are treating customers fairly and complying with their licence obligations.

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