Energy firms 'must face licence axe' to help customers

New regulator would be able to revoke licences of suppliers that repeatedly act against interests of customers, under new Labour proposals.

Shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint accused the Government of presiding over a "broken energy market" and said Labour would hand a tough new regulator the capability to cancel energy companies' licences.

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Labour left Britain 'with a broken energy market'

The Conservatives have accused Labour of bringing Britain's economy to its knees, after it announced proposals to revoke energy companies' licences helping protect the interests of the public. A Conservative Party spokesman said:

Labour left our country with a broken energy market and huge taxes on bills - meaning the number of people in fuel poverty nearly doubled in Labour's last five years.

We've been taking action to put this right. We've taken £50 off the average bill by rolling back green levies. We're carrying out a full, independent inquiry to fix the broken market we inherited. And we're forcing energy companies to simplify bills so people can be sure they are getting the best deal.

– Spokesman, Conservatives

Energy regulator fines seen as a 'cost of doing business'

A new energy regulator would be charged with producing an annual scorecard for energy suppliers, reporting on the company's performance and identifying any possible areas of concern, Labour has announced.

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint Credit: PA

Shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said: "The public have a right to be treated fairly by energy companies. Where firms fail to meet these standards, there must be tough and decisive action. Too often energy companies seem to view the regulator's fines as a cost of doing business - not as a warning to get their act together.

"Of course consumers must be compensated - but if energy companies persist in mistreating their customers they must know their licence could be on the line."

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Labour plans energy crackdown through new regulator

A Labour government would give a new energy regulator the power to revoke energy companies' licences to help protect the interests of the public, the party announced today.

Labour plans energy crackdown though new regulator Credit: PA

Shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint accused the Government of presiding over a "broken energy market" and said Labour would hand a tough new regulator the capability to cancel energy companies' licences where there were repeated instances of the most "serious and deliberate breaches of their licence conditions which harm the interests of consumers".

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, she claimed, showed energy companies had continued to "mistreat their customers" and face another 16 probes into mis-selling, poor customer service and other bad practice, despite Ofgem issuing 30 fines, totalling more than £87 million since 2001.

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