Ofgem takes firm line against EDF Energy breach£4.5m to be reinvested for vulnerable energy customers

09 March 2012

EDF Energy logo

Which? has welcomed Ofgem's levying of £4.5m from EDF Energy, but says that the regulator must continue this firm approach in future to restore consumers' confidence in the energy industry.

Following an Ofgem investigation into its sales practices, EDF Energy came to an agreement with the energy regulator to pay a £4.5m package that is intended to help the most vulnerable energy customers.

EDF licence breach

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: 'This has been a long time coming and it's good to see that money will go directly to vulnerable consumers rather than into Treasury coffers, as a result of this serious breach of licence conditions.'

He added: 'Against a backdrop of poor complaints handling and bills and tariffs that even energy sales staff struggle to understand, the suppliers have a lot to do if they're to re-engage with their customers.'

Poor energy sales advice

While we welcome Ofgem's firm approach, we are concerned that EDF Energy is not the only supplier that failed to give accurate information during the sales process.

'Our own investigations suggest that poor sales and marketing practices are rife across the sector. If people think that they have been given the wrong advice, they should complain directly to their supplier,' added Mr Lloyd.

The Big Switch

Announcing the agreement with EDF Energy, Ofgem's senior partner in charge of enforcement, Sarah Harrison, said: 'In the energy market in general much more needs to be done to restore consumer confidence and all energy suppliers should now get behind Ofgem's reforms to introduce a simpler, clearer and more competitive energy market.'

The news comes as more than 200,000 supporters sign up to The Big Switch, a new way for consumers to buy – and save money – on their gas and electricity bills.

Using the power of thousands of consumers, we'll speak to gas and electricity suppliers and hope to negotiate a new energy tariff that will be the cheapest on offer. We'll then help people make the switch to the new tariff, if they want to.

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