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Ofgem looks to fix gas and electricity pricing problems

Gas and electricity customers could be offered new protection by energy regulator Ofgem as part of efforts to tackle problems with the market.

A package of new rules has been unveiled by Ofgem to try to tackle problems with the retail market and particular concerns regarding vulnerable households and small businesses.

Measures include a ban on “unjustified price differences” and new protection for small businesses including clear and transparent contract terms and conditions.

Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: “Our undue discrimination rule will address the symptoms of flaws in the market while our retail market measures will treat the causes.

“This is an emphatic move by Ofgem to clear the decks of obstacles that prevent consumers from getting access to the best offers. “

All consumers will be given greater power in the market and small businesses in particular will have a stronger hand to play in the market.”

Consultations will be launched in April and if there is no industry agreement on the package Ofgem retains the option to take the matter to the Competition Commission.