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Fine times table #4

british energy costsIn the final 2014 instalment of our Fine Times Table series we look at the energy market since our 2009 inception and the number of times, and amount, the Big 6 energy suppliers have been fined for various market misdemeanours.

Recently Ofgem have been busy fining suppliers and generators for failings under the CESP scheme.

Amongst the Big 6, British Gas Business, Scottish Power and SSE were the energy suppliers hit by new fines from the regulator.

Ofgem’s investigation into failings under the CESP scheme found that to varying degrees the guilty suppliers had failed to fulfil their clear and mandated obligations under the scheme.

The three latest fines mean that in total the Big 6 suppliers have faced financial penalties totalling £76,135,000 since 2009.

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 – December 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.

In total the Big 6 energy suppliers have been fined an astonishing £76m in just 4 years

Supplier Date Fine Reason
Scottish Power Dec-14 £2,400,000 CESP failings
SSE Dec-14 £1,750,000 CESP failings
British Gas Dec-14 £11,100,000 CESP failings
EDF Energy Aug-14 £3,000,000 Complaints
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 Energy 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 Energy Jun-10 £200,000 Complaints
Total £76,135,000

Business Juice’s Fine Times Table

The suppliers – December 2014

In ranking order, the worst transgressor, or at least the Big 6 supplier that has been fined the most is British Gas with fines totalling over £21m. In contrast nPower have faced the least sanctions of the Big 6 despite their continued service problems.

Supplier Fine
British Gas £21,210,000
E.ON £16,700,000
SSE £12,250,000
Scottish Power £11,650,000
British Gas £10,100,000
EDF Energy £7,700,000
Npower £6,625,000
Total £76,135,000

Note that these totals do not include the fines levied on EDF Energy’s network business over the period.

The reasons – December 2014

The fines are dominated by supplier mis-selling with a total of £40m of fines representing 52% of all fines however the impact of Ofgem’s December fining spree has now pushed failings under the CESP scheme into second place ahead of complaints and transfer blocking.

Reason Fine
Mis-Selling £40,000,000
CESP Failings £15,260,000
Complaints £7,700,000
Transfer blocking £5,600,000
Reporting errors £4,125,000
Over-charging £2,450,000
Billing £1,000,000
Total £76,135,000

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 in 2015 we’ll reissue the latest ‘Fine Times Table’.

* Voluntary / negotiated payment in lieu of fine

Previous “Fine Times Tables” stories: