Who is Ofgem?

Ofgem is the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets and acts as the regulator to the energy industry.

The purpose of Ofgem is to protect the interests of electricity and gas consumers in Great Britain.

There are several ways in which Ofgem do this, including;

  • Promoting competition in the energy market
  • Promoting value for money for consumers
  • Regulating the industry; including energy suppliers and energy price comparison websites
  • Delivering government initiatives
  • Promoting security of supply and sustainability, for present and future generations of consumers, domestic and industrial users

Ofgem works with the energy industry and other stakeholders, as determined by the UK government and (at time of writing) the European Union. Despite working closely with these organisations, Ofgem is completely independent and is a non-ministerial government department.

As a regulator, Ofgem will step in where necessary to protect consumer’ interests. Ofgem has the power to request information from energy suppliers and to impose fines and enforcement orders on energy suppliers that they find to breach regulations.

Ofgem also works closely with energy suppliers to improve their performance in several areas including how they:

  • Handle customer complaints
  • Provide support for vulnerable customers
  • Make sure energy suppliers fulfil their social obligations

As well as energy suppliers, Ofgem works closely with energy price comparison websites to make sure they provide the best service to domestic energy customers.

Ofgem and Energy Price Comparison Websites

Ofgem currently runs the Confidence Code, a voluntary code of practice for domestic energy price comparison websites. Energylinx is one of the eleven energy comparison websites accredited to the Ofgem Confidence Code.

Any energy comparison websites that bears the Confidence Code logo should be able to do the following:

  • help you find the best energy tariff for your household
  • provide a free and easy-to-use energy comparison and switching service
  • provide you with detailed information on each energy tariff, including gas and electricity unit prices
  • detail any discounts available, such a direct debit or paperless billing discount

The Purpose of the Confidence Code

The aim of the Confidence Code is to help consumers feel confident about the advice that they receive when using an accredited energy comparison website to switch energy suppliers.

The Principles of the Confidence Code

Ofgem ensures that any energy price comparison website accredited to the Ofgem Confidence Code meets the key principles of how to operate their service.

Some of the principles that Ofgem accredited energy comparison websites must follow are outlined below:

Be independent and Impartial

This means Energylinx must be independent of any energy supplier on our platform and must provide impartial advice to customers that are not in favour of or against any particular energy suppliers.

Tariffs and Price Comparisons

Ofgem Accredited websites must endeavour to compare all available domestic energy tariffs.

After a recommendation made by the Competition and Markets Authority, in July 2018 Ofgem removed the “Whole of Market” requirement from the Confidence Code. Previous to this, energy comparison websites had to default a personal projection to show a “Whole of Market” view, regardless of whether the energy comparison website could arrange a switch to the energy supplier or not.

Now Customers that create a personal projection on Energylinx can filter the results page to show all energy tariffs available to them and also tariffs they can switch to through Energylinx.

Energylinx has contracts with more domestic energy suppliers than any other energy comparison website, so we are confident our customers will find the best energy tariff available to them by using our website.

Quality of Service and Signposting of Information

Under the Confidence Code, Energylinx can assign ratings to a supplier’s performance. We get these ratings by inviting our customers to review the switch to their new energy supplier 6 weeks after they have organised it.

When a new customer creates a personal projection, they will be shown a results page based on their information. On this results page, they will see a star rating next to each energy supplier. This rating is what our previous customers have reviewed the energy supplier on the back of their switch. If a supplier has no rating, it is because we don’t have enough data to generate a star rating.

Ofgem review and revise the Confidence Code regularly. Any changes made to it will be published on the Ofgem website and adhered to by Energylinx.