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Ofgem Bosses Rewarded With A Collective 14% Pay Rise

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/ma...m-executive-pay

The regulators of Britain's energy industry were given a collective pay rise of 14% last year, amid criticism that they had failed to keep a lid on soaring household bills.

Lord Mogg, who works three days a week in his role as Ofgem's non-executive chairman, enjoyed the steepest pay rise, up 38%. He was paid a salary £145,000 in 2008/09, up from £105,000 the year before. Ofgem's six most senior staff were paid a total of £1,160,000 in the year ending in March, according to the watchdog's accounts, up from the equivalent of £1,015,000 the year before.

The pay rises were awarded in a year when gas and electricity prices shot up and regulators came under fire for not doing enough to curb the cost of energy.

The watchdog said Mogg's hours had been increased since he started a second five-year term in October "to reflect increasing responsibilities for the development of EU regulatory policy". Mogg, who spent 13 years as a senior official in the European commission, is chairman of the European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas and president of the Council of European Energy Regulators. He also had £30,000 paid into his pension and was awarded £9,800 in travel expenses, the accounts showed.

Chief executive Alistair Buchanan was paid £265,000, up £15,000 on the year before, and more than 50% up on his first full year in the job, 2004/05, when he got £175,000. Other executives benefiting from a pay rise included managing director Steve Smith, whose total salary rose from £190,000 to £220,000.

"Ofgem's pay awards for its senior management are set according to Cabinet office rules and procedures," the watchdog said in a statement. "The awards are approved by a remuneration committee made up of non-executive members of Ofgem's ­governing authority.

"Ofgem is unique among Britain's regulators in capping its cost increases to 3% below inflation. This has saved more than £8m in its first four years while Ofgem has met its commitments to customers.

"This year Ofgem's probe into energy retail cut £0.5bn from unfair price differences. And following separate instances of activity that ran counter to customers' interests we fined National Grid £30m and npower nearly £2m."

Ofgem is classified as a non-ministerial government department and is funded by mandatory licence fees paid by energy companies. The regulator monitors ­competition in gas and electricity ­markets and can intervene where it believes ­competition has failed.

Nice work if you can get it.

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Read all about power station 571.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009...eneration-ofgem

I went to the regulator's annual report on the renewable payments scheme to see if there were any clues as to why us pioneers are suffering. What I read there was truly humbling. I may resent the ten or twenty hours I have spent in the last year chasing my £66.43. But Ofgem is upset as well. The report crossly says that the 1,000 or so microgenerators in the UK cost the regulator £600,000 last year in staff and office costs. That's £600 per generating site, ten times the money they owe me. I may have been frustrated by the time I spent chasing my payment, but they appear to have spent days and days justifying why the money hadn't been properly sent to Power Station 571. In fact, Ofcom unashamedly comments that cost of generators like me was substantially more than the value of the electricity we produced. Between the thousand of us we generated about 8,000 megawatt hours, or just about enough to cover the electricity needs of 200 homes or a large secondary school. But Ofcom has a section of five or ten people responding to our complaints and trying to find new reasons not to send us the cash. Reading between the lines, the regulator is trying to tell government that it is fed up with dealing with us and our miserable dribbles of electricity. Heaped on the superstructure of baffling incompetence is a new threat. Apparently, Ofgem is worried that some naughty microgenerators have been exaggerating their production figures. A new team of crack auditors is to be formed to visit places like Power Station 571 to ensure we are correctly completing our forms. Next year perhaps it won't cost £600 to make life difficult for the average microgenerator, it will be £800, £900, or even more.

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"This year Ofgem's probe into energy retail cut £0.5bn from unfair price differences. And following separate instances of activity that ran counter to customers' interests we fined National Grid £30m and npower nearly £2m."

How does it help consumers to fine companies in this way?

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"This year Ofgem's probe into energy retail cut £0.5bn from unfair price differences. And following separate instances of activity that ran counter to customers' interests we fined National Grid £30m and npower nearly £2m."

How does it help consumers to fine companies in this way?

It would be nice to think there would be less to pay the Directors when it happens, but that would be the last thing to be cut. They would close down power stations first!

The looting continues....

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