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Ed Miliband calls for more powers for Ofgem


Labour leader Ed Miliband believes Ofgem should be given more powers to force firms to cut gas and electricity bills in relation to the fall of wholesales prices.

Ofgem does not currently have the power to force energy firms to reduce their prices. Ed Miliband has said he will fast track legislation on energy in a Commons debate next week.

Oil prices have continued to fall in recent months, and this week the price of a barrel of Brent Crude oil fell below $50 this week. Trade body Energy UK has claimed the savings that energy companies have made because of the fall in oil prices has been passed onto customers. Chancellor George Osborne has launched an investigation into whether this is true.

Energy UK have said that no new powers are needed, as competitive pressure is forcing down prices anyway, and if people shop around they can find extremely cheap offers.

Ofgem said: "We've made it clear that we think energy suppliers should explain more clearly why the consistent fall in wholesale price hasn't fed through to consumer prices."

Mr Miliband said:
"We're going to bring before the House of Commons a vote in Parliament to say the government should bring forward fast-track legislation to ensure that we give the regulator...the power to cut prices."
"We see wholesale costs go down 20% in gas prices over the last year and no reduction in bills."

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