Ofgem unveils new rules

Gas and electricity regulator Ofgem announced a package of new rules for energy suppliers yesterday that will give consumers more power and crack down on unfair practices. The proposals include stopping the overcharging of some customers, and a restriction on doorstop selling.

Meanwhile, a cross-party bid to end fuel poverty by promoting energy efficiency and social tariffs for the less well off has failed in the Commons. Despite backing from a range of organisations including Help the Aged and Friends of the Earth and with cross party support, debate on the Fuel Poverty Bill ran out of time. Energy minister Joan Ruddock said the government already had a policy to tackle fuel poverty and criticised the ‘absolutist’ nature of the Bill which placed a duty of ministers irrespective of cost.