The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has equipped Office of Gas and Electricity Market (Ofgem) with new powers to protect the wholesale gas and electricity markets from abuse.

Ofgem’s main duty is to protect the interests of consumers, wherever possible by promoting competition.

Under the new European Union (EU) REMIT Regulation, Ofgem will have new powers to access information, inspect premises and impose unlimited fines in case the law is violated.

Ofgem will be empowered with the new enforcement regulation, while the law will be put into place through Secondary Legislation and will come into force from 29 June 2013.

UK Energy Secretary Edward Davey said it is necessary for Ofgem to be equipped with necessary laws to fight against unlawful activity in the energy market.

"It is my role to protect consumers, particularly the most vulnerable, who can suffer the most when markets are abused," Davey added.

"That’s why I have given Ofgem new powers to deal with market manipulation and insider dealing in wholesale gas and electricity.

"These include unlimited fines and new access to information, including the power to enter premises."

Ofgem Markets senior partner Andrew Wright said, "These powers complement the work we are doing to improve liquidity and transparency in energy markets, and our broader reforms to improve consumer trust and confidence."