Martin Lewis says tougher protections 'are and were always needed' as Ofgem announces changes for suppliers amid energy crisis

In response to Ofgem announcing energy suppliers will have to undergo tougher tests and checks on their finances from January, Martin Lewis says more robust protections are and always were much needed, especially in the face of the current energy crisis. The energy regulator says the changes are designed to reduce the risk of firm failures, protect consumers and strengthen the resilience of the market.

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "Back in 2018, I suggested to Ofgem three tests that needed to be made before suppliers were granted licences. My concern at the time was that enough new small one-man-and-his-dog firms were either going bust, or playing fast and loose with customers, and that was putting people off switching. Those tests were soon introduced, though not with the level of severity I would have preferred.

"Ofgem has been in a sticky situation for a few years. It has had to balance the Government’s wish for a competitive open market energy price solution – which means there needed to be limited barriers to entry – with protecting consumers.

"Now after the energy price catastrophe we face, it’s clear tougher protections are and were always needed. In a way that will have been advantageous for Ofgem, as the Government pressure to pump up competition will be playing second fiddle to protecting it from having to bail out firms in the future."

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