Npower will be fined £1.8m after it failed to do enough to tackle staff who were tricking customers into energy deals,energy regulator Ofgem has announced.
Npower did have procedures in place to follow up complaints, but was judged not to have done enough to apply and improve them.
New tougher rules
Ofgem said it would put forward tougher rules next year to help tackle mis-selling.
New measures could include an obligation for salespeople to give written quotations comparing their offer with a customer’s current energy bills.
Npower said it had immediately dismissed those who were acting fraudulently.
Pressure to cut bills
The Npower fine comes at a time when Britain’s gas and electricity companies have come under pressure from ministers and consumer groups to ensure that savings from a fall in wholesale prices are passed on to households.
British Gas is the first energy company to respond to calls for lower energy prices by launching a cheaper online tariff. The recently launched WebSaver 1 becomes British Gas’s cheapest tariff.
Customers who sign up to the WebSaver 1 receive a minimum 10% discount against standard British Gas tariff prices until 31st March 2010, regardless of whether prices go up, down or stay the same.
Find the best deal
Alison Morrison, from Which?’s free and independent switching site Switch with Which?, says: ‘If you’re feeling the pinch of higher energy prices, it pays to make sure you’re on the best deal available.
‘Switching from quarterly cash or cheque to monthly direct debit payment can reduce your bills significantly. And going for an online tariff will save you even more.’
On average, customers who used Switch with Which? saved £233 in a year, based on figures gathered from October 2007 to March 2008.
RSS news feed
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the . If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: https://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml. Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds.