Following these damaging, high-profile failures, from June applicants for an energy supply licence will have to show:
- They can demonstrate they can adequately fund their operations for the first year of trading
- Their intentions to provide a proper level of customer service
- That their directors, shareholders and senior managers are “fit and proper” to hold a licence
Ofgem said that customers had benefited overall from increased competition in the form of lower prices, extended choice and improved customer service standards but recognised that over the past 18 months many suppliers that failed had provided a poor level of customer service.
Mary Starks, Ofgem executive director of consumers and markets, said: “Applying new requirements on suppliers entering and operating in the market will aid us to weed out those that are underprepared, under-resourced and unfit. This will help us to minimise the risk of supplier failure and help drive up standards for consumers.”
Ofgem also announced that they would shortly begin a consultation on raising standards and reviewing arrangements for supplier failure.
Currently if an energy supplier fails then Ofgem steps in to protect supplies to customers and makes sure that no household has their gas or electricity supply cut off. They then look to move customers to new suppliers but this has proved controversial in the past as they could not guarantee that the new tariffs they would pay would be as cheap as the previous ones.
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