Energy Suppliers Hit With £4.6m Fine For Not Helping Customers
Ofgem has continued its clampdown on malpractice within the energy industry with a combined fine of £4.6 million for SSE, Scottish Power and GDF Suez.
Targets had been issued by the regulator whereby the suppliers were required to help vulnerable energy customers to save energy in the home. The aforementioned suppliers failed to adhere to these guidelines, resulting in today’s fines.
The Community Energy Saving Programme, a brainchild of the UK government, had stipulated that energy suppliers had to help customers on low incomes to save money on their energy through measures such as insulation. These measures were required to have been implemented by 2012.
Who Was Fined What?
Scottish Power was subject to the biggest fine of £2.4 million due to the fact that their failure to comply led to hard cold winter for their customers in 2012/13. The money will be pumped straight back into the Scottish Power Energy People Trust, which will benefit energy customers across the UK.
SSE was hit with a fine of £1.75 million for missing the same deadline and it met just 91% of its goals on time. The result of this was that 2,100 homes in the UK were not able to make the energy savings they wanted, costing them cash in the process. SSE’s funds will go to Foundations Independent Living Trust, Energy Action Scotland and the Welsh Citizens Advice Bureau.
French firm GDF Suez bore the brunt of a £450,000 fine after falling well short of its targets. The supplier saw a measly 38.6% of its targets hit on time which negatively affected 1,000 households’ energy savings. Age UK will be the recipients of this money as the charity looks to keep the elderly as warm as possible during the winter months.
Turbulent Year for Energy Suppliers
These fines come at the end of a turbulent year for the UK energy suppliers, with the Ofgem probe into the Big Six and a massive year in terms of fines. Just recently, power behemoths Drax received a massive £28 million fine from the regulator for meeting just 37% of its obligations and British Gas featured in the news centre for much the same. The message from Ofgem appears to be clear, put the energy customers first and meet your targets or bear the brunt financially.
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