Your independent energy adviser
0800 051 5770

Energy Company Fines and Misdemeanours

The Fine Times Table

energy company finesWe thought it would be interesting to look back at the energy market since Business Juice first came into existence.

In July 2009, uSwitch for Business began trading as an independent entity for the first time, in that time many things have happened in our business, not least our 2013 rebrand to Business Juice.

Whilst this holds happy memories for us one set of events that has left us truly staggered when we’ve reviewed the timeline since our 2009 inception is the number of times, and amount, the Big 6 energy suppliers have been fined for various market misdemeanours.

As at May 2014, those fines total an incredible £57,000,000, of which £45,000,000 has come in the last 18 months alone.

As this is a very serious indictment of the energy market, we thought it would be interesting to keep a record of this seemingly ever-expanding list….

Enter our ‘Fine Times Table’ where we detail each fine levied and the reason for the punishment.

For now this is what the last 5 years have delivered:

Business Juice’s Fine Times Table – May-14

Ofgem were clearly slow to react to misdemeanours with fines in the early years of 2009-10 however once into their stride their application, the size and regularity of punishment increased and has grown significantly in 2013/14.

Big 6 Supplier Date Fine Reason
Scottish Power May-14 £750,000 Over-charging
E.ON May-14 £12,000,000 Mis-Selling
Npower May-14 £125,000 Reporting errors
British Gas Apr-14 £5,600,000 Transfer blocking
Npower Dec-13 £3,500,000 Mis-Selling
Npower Dec-13 £1,000,000 Billing *
Scottish Power Oct-13 £8,500,000 Mis-Selling
E.ON Jul-13 £3,000,000 Reporting errors *
SSE Apr-13 £10,500,000 Mis-Selling
E.ON Nov-12 £1,700,000 Over-charging*
EDF Mar-12 £4,500,000 Mis-Selling*
Npower Oct-11 £2,000,000 Complaints
British Gas Jul-11 £2,500,000 Complaints
British Gas Jul-11 £1,000,000 Reporting errors
EDF Jun-10 £200,000 Complaints

Business Juice’s Fine Times Table – The suppliers – May-14

In ranking order, the worst transgressor, or at least the Big 6 supplier that has been fined the most is E.ON with fines totaling nearly £17m. Incredibly these have been levied in just 18 months. EDF has been fined the least but please note that these totals do not include the fines levied on EDFs network business over the period.

Big 6 Supplier Fine
E.ON £16,700,000
SSE £10,500,000
Scottish Power £9,250,000
British Gas £9,100,000
Npower £6,625,000
EDF £4,700,000

Business Juice’s Fine Times Table – The reasons – May-14

The reasons for the fines are hugely dominated by the issue of Big 6 supplier mis-selling with a total of £39m of fines for misdemeanours in selling or nearly 70% of all fines.

Reason Fine
Mis-Selling £39,000,000
Transfer blocking £5,600,000
Complaints £4,700,000
Reporting errors £4,125,000
Over-charging £2,450,000
Billing £1,000,000

We hope the list won’t get too much bigger, especially with the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) Investigation underway, however you can be sure that if any new fines are added we’ll reissue the latest ‘Fine Times Table’.

* Voluntary / negotiated payment in lieu of fine


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.