Ofgem partner: 'Energy supply crisis could see customers paying to keep the lights on'

Communities could be split between those who can afford to keep the lights on and those who cannot, it has been reported.

Andrew Wright, a senior partner with energy watchdog Ofgem, is quoted as having warned of an energy supply crisis which will see customers having to pay for a higher level of reliability.

The Telegraph reported he said there is "much less flexibility" for suppliers because Britain has lost fuel capacity due to closure of coal mines.

Ofgem executive Andrew Wright. Credit: PA

He said: "In the future not everyone will be able to use as much electricity as they want, and there will be a need to re-write the rules.

"We are currently all paying broadly the same price but we could be moving away from that and there will be some new features in the market which may see some choose to pay for a higher level of reliability.

"One household may be sitting with their lights on, charging their Tesla electric car, while someone else will be sitting in the dark."

A spokeswoman for Ofgem said Mr Wright was speaking in a private capacity at a conference.

She said: "Ofgem is fully committed to delivering secure supplies for all consumers now and in the future. This is our number one priority. This is why we have driven up network reliability standards and worked closely with Government to ensure secure energy supplies.

"In order to protect consumers every regulator has to look a possible future challenges. Mr Wright was talking at a university conference in a personal capacity and looking at possible issues that might or might not arise in 10 to 15 years' time."