The Labour party has vowed to extinguish the energy regular Ofgem, in a quest to stop people and businesses from being “ripped off” by the big energy companies.

Speaking at the Labour Party Annual Conference 2012 the shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change, Caroline Flint MP said it would “call” time on Ofgem.

Too often, Ofgem had “ducked the opportunity to get tough with the energy giants” failed to enforce its own rules and let energy companies get away with “ripping off” the British public she said.

“The time has come to say goodbye to Ofgem and create a tough new regulator that people can trust. And if they don’t do it first, we will force the energy companies to pass on price cuts,” she added.

Last month energy company SSE announced a huge nine per cent rise in its gas and electricity prices from October, and other suppliers are expected to follow suit over the winter months.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) said it would welcome any action that would stop the energy companies’ unfair practices. “We agree that Ofgem has not been powerful enough to deal with the problems in the energy market,” ACS public affairs director Shane Brennan said. “Energy companies continue to take advantage of small businesses at a time when energy costs are spiralling and competition in the market is failing to work effectively. This is harming the ability of small businesses to grow, invest and create jobs.”

The ACS launched its Switch to Fair Energy campaign earlier this year in a bid to highlight the problems that local shops are facing with their energy companies. Despite ACS’s submission to the Retail Market Review in 2011, Ofgem has still not dealt with the damaging issue of backbilling.