British Gas, Scottish Power and SSE failed to meet government energy efficiency targets and will be investigated by the energy regulator Ofgem.
The three companies failed to meet targets to insulate homes and save carbon under schemes that ended in December 2012 and could now face fines from the energy watchdog.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:
‘It’s right that Ofgem is taking action against those energy companies who have not met their energy efficiency targets.
‘Consumers pay for these schemes through their energy bills, and so have a right to know how much they are costing. We want the Government to ensure that there is full transparency on the costs of the new Energy Company Obligation (ECO) so we can judge if they are delivering real value for money.’
Energy efficiency schemes
Energy companies were legally obliged to promote energy efficiency measures, like free insulation and energy saving light bulbs, to help households to reduce CO2 emissions. The two schemes were called the the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) scheme.
You can also check to see if you are eligible for government help to install other energy efficiency measures under the Green Deal cashback or ECO schemes, which replaced CERT and CESP.
Energy companies miss efficiency targets
British Gas met 62% of its CESP targets, while SSE, which owns Southern Electric and Scottish Hydro, met 90.9% of its CESP target and Scottish Power met 70%. British Gas and SSE also just missed their carbon saving targets on the CERT scheme as well.
Over six million energy efficiency measures were delivered to consumers over the course of both schemes, with 3.9 million lofts and 2.5 million cavity walls insulated before 31 December 2012.
The energy companies were warned in September 2012 that they could face big fines if they failed to meet their energy efficiency targets. Ofgem said that it would take account of energy efficiency measures that British Gas, Scottish Power and SSE installed after the December 2012 deadline when considering fines.
Overall energy companies achieved 99% of government energy efficiency targets by the December 2012 deadline. EDF energy, E.ON and Npower managed to achieve all of their energy efficiency targets.