Martin Lewis urges viewers to ‘check and switch’ energy bills
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Ofgem said more than one million customers were collectively overcharged more than £7million for the failings and suppliers are now issuing refunds and redress payments worth £10.4million. What suppliers are affected?
Several of the suppliers self-reported the issue to Ofgem which led to all suppliers being requested to self-assess their practises. This then revealed that 18 suppliers were not compliant between 2013-2020.
Customers affected include those on a standard variable tariff who switched to another supplier but did not have their variable tariff price protected during the switch.
Others affected include those on a fixed-term tariff who switched to another supplier but did not have their fixed term tariff protected during the switch, and customers on a fixed-term tariff who moved to another tariff with their supplier but did not have their fixed-term tariff protected during the switch.
Most of the failures are said to be down to the suppliers not having adequate arrangements in place to make sure the protections were applied in full when customers decided to change providers.
However, the suppliers have since agreed to refund all affected customers and where it has not been possible to process refunds, the suppliers have agreed to make payments to the energy redress fund.
Anna Rossington, interim director of retail at Ofgem said: “Customers should have confidence in switching and not be overcharged when doing so.
“This case sends a strong message to all suppliers that Ofgem will intervene where customers are overcharged and ensure that no supplier benefits from non-compliance.
“It also shows that, where appropriate, Ofgem is prepared to work with suppliers who have failed to comply with the rules, but who are willing to self-report issues and put things right for their customers.”
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The suppliers affected are:
- Bristol Energy
- British Gas/Centrica
- E (Gas and Electricity)
- EDB Energy
- Green Star Energy
- Octopus Energy
- OVO Energy
- PFP Energy
- Scottish Power
- So Energy
- Utility Warehouse
This includes a whopping 240,563 OVO Energy customers affected, 225,823 Shell customers overcharged and 141,415 British Gas/Centrica customers affected.
The 18 suppliers will be in contact with customers about any redress payments.
Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at Uswitch.com, said: “These failures affected more than one million customers across 18 suppliers, with bill payers overcharged by £7 million over seven years.
“While it’s good that these issues have finally been redressed, it is disappointing that the errors persisted for so long.
“The regulator’s action is vital to maintain confidence in the switching process, so that consumers will continue to access the significant savings available.
“Ofgem has sent a clear message that it will strongly consider taking formal action if non-compliance is identified again in the future.”
Around 15 million families will also see their energy bills rise up to £96 after Ofgem announced it has hiked the price cap.
For six months from April 1, the price cap will increase by £86 to £1,238 for 11million default tariff customers, and by £87 to £1,156 for four million pre-payment meter customers.
Ofgem sets an energy price cap to limit the price suppliers can charge consumers for their electricity and gas twice a year.
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