Regulator aims to support investment in low-carbon technology while protecting households from price rises

Britain’s energy regulator has said it will change how it governs the industry to help meet the government’s climate targets, after coming under fire for failing to prioritise the climate emergency.

The regulator published a wide-ranging climate action plan on Monday, which aims to help get 10m electric vehicles on our roads by 2030 and support a fourfold increase in offshore wind generation, while protecting homes from rising energy bills.

The nine-point manifesto also includes plans to support low-carbon home heating, tariffs that encourage homes to help balance the energy system, and a crackdown on “greenwash” energy deals.

Ofgem’s incoming chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, set out the regulator’s climate manifesto after critics warned that its outdated statutory duties were not aligned with the government’s climate policies.

Ofgem was set up to regulate energy companies and safeguard consumer interests, often against price increases. The regulator admitted that it faces trade-offs between supporting ambitious green investments – paid for through energy bills – and the need to protect homes from rising costs.

The Guardian reported last year that Britain’s biggest business group, the CBI, was concerned that the regulator’s existing mandate sent “negative signals” to low-carbon investors. The CBI called for a legal change to the regulator’s statutory duties to directly prioritise tackling the climate crisis.

On his first day as the regulator’s new boss, Brearley signalled that Ofgem plans to balance the tension between green investments and energy bills without a legal overhaul.

“We are taking an approach that recognises that our role protecting consumers includes achieving net zero,” he said.

Read more: The Guardian