Ofgem has been urged “not to hesitate to take swift action to enforce compliance, including substantial fines” for energy companies.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has written to the energy regulator to ask for a crackdown on energy firms amid claims some are hiking charges by more than is justified.
Last week, the energy regulator raised concerns over increases in direct debit payments by energy companies.
Mr Kwarteng said: “Now more than ever we need to closely scrutinise and hold energy companies to a high standard that the public rightly expect.
“The people who are suffering most as a result of high prices are customers, not energy suppliers.”
A few days ago, the bosses of the UK’s biggest energy suppliers said they expected a significantly larger number of people moving into fuel poverty as a consequence of the price increase and a significant increase in bad debt.
An Ofgem spokesperson told ELN: “We have been tightening regulation over the last six months, paving the way for more robust processes that will ensure all suppliers in the market are fit for purpose and customers are treated fairly.
“We recently wrote to suppliers to warn them that we are commissioning a series of market compliance reviews to ensure amongst other things, that they are handling direct debits fairly and that overall they are held to higher standards for performance on customer service and protecting vulnerable customers.”
ELN has contacted BEIS for a response.