Martin Lewis calls for strict controls on new energy firms as Ofgem bans Iresa from taking new customers

Responding to the news that Ofgem has banned small energy supplier Iresa from taking on new customers, Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com and cheapenergyclub.com said:

On Iresa…

“This is a very important step by Ofgem.For many of its customers Iresa has not come close to living up to even minimum standards.I hear often of customers locked into its plans, with no way to move and no way to contact it.The big question here is should the firm be allowed a licence at all?”

A change is needed in the energy market as a whole…

“There is a wider issue in the energy market with the political push to encourage as many new entrants as possible.While increasing competition is important, it cannot be done at all costs.It is time that much stricter tests were set up before firms are granted licences.”

“1. The people setting them up must be ‘fit and proper’ – energy is a key public service and can’t be run by those looking for a quick buck or at the extreme to rip people off.
“2. They need appropriate financial means. If not there’s a risk they operate firms like a Ponzi scheme aiming to draw people in with unsustainably cheap prices to gain cash flow, without the resources to support those customers.
“3. There should be capacity limits based on the infrastructure set-up. Too often firms come in with loss-leading prices which attract large numbers of customers, but an inability to deal with those volumes.”

-ends-

About Martin Lewis: Martin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is the journalist and consumer campaigner who created MoneySavingExpert.com and is now the site’s Executive Chair. Martin also founded and chairs the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute charity.

He’s the UK’s most-googled man, Citizens Advice’s Consumer Champion of the Year, and has spearheaded major financial justice campaigns including bank charges reclaiming (over seven million template letters downloaded), PPI reclaiming (over six million) and a successful large-scale campaign to get financial education in schools. He has his own prime-time ITV programme, The Martin Lewis Money Show, as well as a range of other regular media slots. He was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2014.

About MoneySavingExpert.com: MoneySavingExpert.com is dedicated to cutting consumers’ bills and fighting their corner. The free-to-use consumer finance help resource aims to show people how to save money on anything and everything, and campaigns for financial justice. It was set up in 2003 for just £100, and its free-to-use, ethical stance quickly made it the UK’s biggest independent money website, according to internet ranking site Alexa.com, and the number one ‘Business and Finance – Business Information’ site, according to Hitwise. It has more than 12 million people opted-in to receive the weekly MSE’s Money Tips email, and more than 16 million unique monthly site users who visit more than 28 million times a month. In September 2012, it joined the MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC.