Alarm bells should be ringing at Ofgem after isles meeting – Carmichael and Wishart

Isles representatives Alistair Carmichael MP and Beatrice Wishart MSP have called on energy regulator Ofgem to take a more “proactive” approach to supporting energy customers in the isles after a meeting this week. Mr Carmichael and Ms Wishart presented a range of evidence from constituents frustrated by poor customer service, inconsistent access to competitive tariffs and price hikes in the past few years. The isles team agreed to share their full set of evidence with Ofgem ahead of a second meeting in the coming weeks but warned that there should be “alarm bells” at the regulator given the range of problems identified.

Speaking after the meeting, Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael said:

“The only positive changes we have seen from energy suppliers have come when there has been proactive engagement on our part with them – letters sent by us on behalf of specific constituents. There are signs of a systemic problem with companies thinking they can do whatever they like in the isles if they are not caught. That alone should be ringing alarm bells in Ofgem.

“We can only help those who come to us looking for that help and so it is vital that the regulator starts to take a more active role in policing supplier behaviour, or many others risk losing out. In the meantime, however, I would encourage anyone who has not yet been in touch about unfair energy practices to contact our offices so that we can put the strongest possible case to Ofgem.”

Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart said:

“Ofgem needs to take a much more proactive approach to tackle poor practices and support customers and we will be meeting again to push for measurable action. The evidence we presented to the regulator clearly shows there are wholesale issues in the energy market and we continue to receive representations from constituents reinforcing the points we made. Do get in touch if you would like us to raise specific issues or if you would like to share your experience of dealing with your provider.”

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