Former oil executive, Mark McAllister, has been confirmed as the new Ofgem chair as of 6 November.
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) yesterday (2 November) confirmed the appointment following an endorsement by the Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee.
McAllister previously founded the oil and gas companies Acorn Oil & Gas and Fairfield Energy in 2001 and 2005 respectively. At present McAllister is chair for the community charity Oasis UK, the Office for Nuclear Regulation, and the Public Chairs’ Forum (PCF) which works to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public services in the UK.
Covering some initial unrest when McAllister was revealed as the Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee’s preferred candidate for the role earlier this year, The Guardian, in a September article, cited that McAllister “no longer has interest within the oil and gas industry, according to his declared interests at the Office for Nuclear Regulation.”
Appointed by the Energy Security Secretary, Claire Coutinho, the Ofgem chair is responsible for protecting consumers from high energy bills, restoring confidence in the retail market and supporting the progress to net zero.
DESNZ stated that McAllister’s over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry will allow him to fulfil this role as Ofgem works to reform the energy market to best serve customers.
McAllister joins Ofgem at a time when UK households are more in need than ever for support against “crushing” debt as energy prices hint at no return to pre-energy crisis levels in the near term with Q1 Default Tariff Cap predictions remaining over £600 higher than the 2022 winter cap.
Demonstrating the urgency of the current climate, just a few week’s ago, Ofgem reported that energy debt levels in the UK have reached their “highest ever level” at £2.6 billion.
Commenting on his appointment, McAllister said he would use Ofgem’s regulatory and delivery responsibilities to “protect energy customers and help realise a net zero energy system” in the UK.
“Energy prices, security of supply and decarbonisation of the energy system are some of the most important challenges facing the UK today and which Ofgem plays a key role in addressing,” said McAllister.
“I am keen to engage with all stakeholders, including industry, consumer groups and charities to find the best solutions to the challenges we face together.”
McAllister will replace Martin Cave who has been Ofgem chair since 2018.