Last week I read that OFWAT, the water industry regulator, threw out an application by Thames Water to increase charges by 8%.
Thames had asked for permission for this increase but have now been told that they can increase by no more than 1.4% above RPI, i.e. a total of 4.6%. This confirmed an earlier draft ruling by the regulator.
This raises the question: if OFWAT can do this, why can’t OFGEM do the same with energy firms’ charges? Doesn’t the energy regulator have any teeth?
Well, here’s something OFGEM did do: they recently published the fact that the wholesale price of gas had increased by only 1.7% in the past year. Well done, chaps.
Sadly, I haven’t heard what they plan to do about the imbalance between that figure and the very much larger increases in their charges to consumers.
Maybe they can’t do anything; if that’s the case, what is the point of them?