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The Fine Times Table

energy supplier finesIn the second part of our Fine Times Table series we again look at the energy market since our 2009 inception and more particularly the number of times, and amount, the Big 6 energy suppliers have been fined for various market misdemeanours.

British Gas are the latest supplier to be fined by Ofgem for misdemeanors in the energy market, Sainsbury’s Energy and British Gas, working together, are reported to have been guilty of providing inaccurate estimates to customers who signed up for tariffs between February 2011 and March 2013.

Whilst British Gas volunteered their misdemanour Ofgem have chosen so far not to investigate however British Gas have committed to pay a financial penalty to affected customers. In total this has been £1m with a contribution also being made to a vulnerable customers fund.

British Gas’ penalty means that all of the Big 6 suppliers have faced financial penalties for mis-selling since 2012.

We’ve updated our ‘Fine Times Table’ accordingly and this is what the last 5 years of Big 6 performance have delivered:

Business Juice’s Fine Times Table – July 2014

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 have grown significantly in 2013/14.

Big 6 Supplier Date Fine Reason
British Gas Jul-14 £1,000,000 Mis-Selling*
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 – July 2014

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 less than 2 years. 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 £16,700,00
SSE £10,500,000
British Gas £10,100,000
Scottish Power £9,250,000
Npower £6,625,000
EDF £4,700,000

The reasons – July 2014

The reasons for the fines are hugely dominated by the issue of Big 6 supplier mis-selling with a total of £40m of fines for misdemeanours in selling or nearly 70% of all fines.

Reason Fine
Mis-Selling £40,000,000
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

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