Ministers are preparing to replace a string of directors at the energy regulator Ofgem this year, as it faces stinging criticism over alleged failures in its oversight of the prepayment scandal.
The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero has launched a process to appoint a new chair for Ofgem to replace Prof Martin Cave.
Cave will not seek to be reappointed to the role when his five-year tenure ends in October.
Headhunters will also be tasked with finding four new non-executives to replace two recently departed directors as well as Lynne Embleton and John Crackett, who have terms due to expire later this year. The chairman role pays up to £180,000 for about three days a week of work.
Cave, an author and chair of several UK universities, has overseen an unprecedented period at Ofgem during which time its attempts to improve competition in the energy supply market was undermined by nearly 30 failures, costing taxpayers an estimated £2.7bn.
The introduction of the Ofgem price cap, which aimed to keep a lid on bills, meant that suppliers were left unable to pass on wholesale costs to customers when gas prices began to rise sharply in 2021.
More recently, Ofgem has been criticised for its handling of the prepayment meter scandal. MPs and campaigners warned before Christmas that many households risked going without power because they could not afford to top of up their meters.
Ofgem later launched a review into supplier practices and was then bounced into introducing a temporary ban on prepayment meter installation after it emerged debt agents working for British Gas had force fitted prepayment meters into vulnerable people’s homes.
This week Ofgem chief, Jonathan Brearley, told energy suppliers to uninstall prepayment meters that have been wrongly force-fitted and pay compensation now, rather than wait for the outcome of a review.
Brearley has resisted calls to resign including from the former prime minister, Gordon Brown.
Audeliss Executive Search have been appointed to hunt for new board members to replace those that are leaving, according to Sky News, which first reported the boardroom shake-up.
A government spokesperson told Sky: “Audeliss are specialists in the recruitment of diverse executive and board level appointments. The recruitment process is in progress.
“The new Ofgem chair and non-executive directors will be announced in due course.”
Ofgem confirmed Cave would not be seeking reappointment to the role.