Sunday People

Ofgem workers share a record £1.4m bonus


STAFF at under-fire energy watchdog Ofgem pocketed a record £1.4million in bonuses during the last year.

The quango, which sets gas and electricit­y prices, rewarded 972 employees as many householde­rs struggled to pay their bills.

Recipients included £190k-a-year Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley, who received £10,000 in bonuses in the last two years.

Jonathan Bean, of charity Fuel Poverty Action, said: “These Ofgem bonuses on top of high salaries are an insult to millions of people struggling from inflated energy bills. Ofgem has totally failed to protect customers.”

Customers were angry too. Widowed gran Kay Smith, 60, branded the bonuses “disgusting” and told how her bills had shot up by 50% since last year.

The bank worker from

Sunderland said: “Why are we being asked to pay fatcats’ bonuses? They’re profiting at the expense of the people.”

Ofgem’s bonus pot means eligible staff members got an extra

£1,484 on average.

The regulator came under fire earlier this year after British

Gas was found to be forcibly installing pre-payment energy meters in vulnerable people’s homes. It condemned British Gas, but was criticised for initially allowing suppliers to fit the meters.

The Parliament­ary Public Accounts Committee last year said it was “not convinced that Ofgem has the skills and capacity it needs to take a more proactive role in regulating the energy supplier market”.

It comes as householde­rs are likely to face even higher energy bills this winter unless the Government announces further support.

Last year, its Energy Bill Support Scheme gave every household a £400 discount, but that has now ended. And although the annual price cap from October will fall £151 to £1,923 for the average consumer, the price cap in October 2021 – before the start of the Ukraine war – was just £1,277.

Ofgem said: “We defend consumers to the hilt.

“All one-off performanc­erelated pay awards are set in line with Cabinet Office guidance and dependent on a tough year-long appraisal process. We are transparen­t about all remunerati­on policies in our annual reports”.

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PAYOUT Brearley

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