Ofgem’s plans are primarily focused to ensure that the energy supply infrastructure is in place to deliver net-zero 2050. Ofgem’s tools are price controls, subsidy allocations, consumer information, advice and empowerment (in partnership with CAB).

The plans do not go into any depth around installer quality insurance and the competency/skills/knowledge of those expected to install measures around energy efficiency.

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) regulates the monopoly companies which run the gas and electricity networks. It takes decisions on price controls and enforcement, acting in the interests of consumers and helping the industries to achieve environmental improvements.

Ofgem is a non-ministerial department meaning there is no minister in charge of Ofgem (like there is with BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) for example).

Ofgem is accountable to the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA). GEMA members are appointed by a BEIS Minister.

Ofgem is primarily concerned with GB Energy Supply rather than quality standards etc. of installers which is more likely to be within BEIS’s consumer protection policy remit.

It should be noted that the plans only apply to Great Britain.

Headlines from the plan:

  • The UK has legislated to be ‘net-zero’ by 2050, although Scotland is aiming for 2045 (https://www.gov.scot/news/scotland-to-become-a-net-zero-society/)
  • Overall emissions have fallen by 40% since 1990; more than any other advanced economy. For example, almost half our electricity came from renewable or low carbon sources last year.
  • Only 5% of the energy used to heat our homes today is from low carbon sources and our use of electric vehicles may need to grow from 230,000 today to 46 million by 2050.
  • To achieve net-zero will require a huge increase in renewable and low carbon electricity, especially to meet new sources of demand such as electric vehicles. We will also need an energy system that can continue to reliably supply energy when consumers need it.

Adrian Simpson, Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at QASSS, comments, “The plans are ambitious, and they need to be to meet our carbon reduction targets. We would like to see consumer protection featured prominently in the plans. Consumers will need access to highly skilled, accountable and reliable tradespeople.”

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