Your independent energy adviser
0800 051 5770

Fine Times Table #5

In the fbritish energy costsifth 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.

It had been a quiet few months for Ofgem after a busy end to 2014 fining suppliers and generators for failings under the CESP scheme.

However Ofgem are back into the swing of things with their latest fine being levied on E.ON for ‘repeat overcharging’.

Ofgem explained:

“Under Ofgem obligations, suppliers had to give customers 30 days’ notice of a price rise; this allowed customers the chance to switch before the increase took effect and without incurring exit fees…. when a supplier was notified that a customer wished to terminate their contract, because of the price rise, they were not permitted to apply the higher charges to that customer if they subsequently received notice confirming that another supplier would be taking over supply.”

E.ON admitted its breach.

The latest fine means that in total the Big 6 suppliers have faced financial penalties totalling £83,885,000 since 2009.

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

Business Juice’s Fine Times Table – April 2015

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 £84m in just 5 years

Supplier Date Fine Reason
E.ON Apr-15 £7,750,000 Over-charging*
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 £83,885,000

Business Juice’s Fine Times Table

The suppliers – April 2015

In ranking order, the worst transgressor, or at least the Big 6 supplier that has been fined the most is now E.ON with fines totalling over £24m. In contrast nPower have faced the least sanctions of the Big 6 despite their continued service problems.

Supplier Fine
E.ON £24,450,000
British Gas £21,210,000
SSE £12,250,000
Scottish Power £11,650,000
British Gas £10,100,000
EDF Energy £7,700,000
Npower £6,625,000
Total £83,8855,000

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

The reasons – April 2015

The fines are dominated by supplier mis-selling with a total of £40m of fines representing 48% of all fines however the impact of Ofgem’s December fining spree has pushed failings under the CESP scheme into second place ahead of over-charging, 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: