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Ofgem, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, recently conducted an investigation which found that over one million energy customers were overcharged when switching suppliers or tariffs.
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Between 2013 and 2020, over one million energy customers were overcharged a total of £7.2 million, with some individuals overpaying hundreds of pounds as a result of energy firms failing to conform with rules and regulations set to protect customers’ prices. Five of the firms overcharged over 100,000 customers.
All 18 energy suppliers who were found to have been overcharging are now having to refund £10.4 million to those affected. Whilst some of the firms involved have already paid back their customers, others are still in the process.
Below is a table showing the suppliers involved and how many customers were overcharged by each supplier.
No. of Affected Customers
The energy supplier Green Energy was also found guilty of overcharging customers, however, the firm recently stopped reading and their customers have been transferred to EDF Energy. According to Ofgem, EDF Energy and Green Network Energy’s administrators are in talks and will give an update soon.
You may be eligible for a refund if you are or were customer of one of the suppliers involved between 2013 and 2020 and:
Were were on a standard variable tariff and switched to a different supplier
Were on a fixed term tariff and switched to a different supplier
Were on a fixed term tariff and moved to a different tariff with the same supplier.
All 18 energy suppliers have confirmed they will be refunding all affected customers, with some offering extra payments as an apology. If you’ve been affected, your existing or former energy supplier should be in touch to arrange a method of refunding you.
The suppliers Eon and Npower have already fully paid back their customers whilst the rest are still working to make all repayments within the next six months, a deadline set by Ofgem.
Any suppliers that are no longer trading or have been bought out by another supplier are currently being spoken to by Ofgem in an attempt to arrange the refunds.
Where energy suppliers were found to have repeatedly breached the rules or where there was ‘serious misconduct’, Ofgem will be dealing with them accordingly to get more redress for customers. Ofgem have also claimed they will make sure all money owed to customers is refunded in full.
If you are one of the customers who has been overcharged by one of the energy suppliers, you should be contacted by them, however, if you think you may have been affected but haven’t received any contact, you should contact the energy supplier you believe has overcharged you to ask if they can confirm whether or not you were overcharged and are due a refund.
When a customer switches energy suppliers or moves to a different energy tariff with the same firm, the price of the existing tariff should remain the same until the switch has been completed. Unfortunately, between 2013-2020, this wasn’t the case and over one million customers were found to have been affected.
Ofgem claim that this is likely down to energy suppliers having inadequate arrangements in place to ensure protections were applied in full for their customers when they made the decision to switch. Ofgem were made aware of the issue when several suppliers raised the issue. They then took the initiative to check all suppliers and found 18 had made the same mistakes.
They have released a warning to suppliers, claiming they will open enforcement cases should suppliers repeatedly break switching rules in the future.
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