Millions of Brits to get energy refunds after 18 suppliers break switching rules

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More than one million households in the UK are to get energy refunds, it has been announced.

The news comes after it emerged 18 suppliers overcharged customers when they requested to switch to a better tariff.

Regulator Ofgem claimed the energy firms will pay £10.4million back to consumers for contract renewal failures from as far as 2013.

It said gas and electricity providers, including British Gas and Npower, failed to correctly protect customers' tariff prices.

Price protection rules effectively safeguard a customer's tariff price when they request to move to a more competitive deal.

Ovo Energy is paying a huge compensation bill with £2.8million due, followed by Scottish Power with £2million.

Meanwhile British Gas is paying out £1.3million and Shell is forking out a staggering £1.2million.

Anna Rossington, from 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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Ofgem also said several suppliers self-reported the issue to the regulator which then promoted all firms to assess their practices.

It is believed thousands of customers will be switching tariffs over the next month as Ofgem's new price cap comes into action.

Big Six giants, including Npower and EDF, have confirmed plans to push up prices for millions from April.

The energy price cap limits how much gas and electricity providers can charge customers on standard variable tariffs.

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Ofgem found 18 suppliers breached the rules when customer contacted them to move to a cheaper deal.

This included 28,126 E.On customers, 79,083 households registered with EDF and 132,620 SSE customers.

The following customers are impacted according to Ofgem:

  • Those on a standard variable tariff who switched to another supplier but did not have their variable tariff price protected during the switch
  • Customers on a fixed-term tariff who switched to another supplier but did not have their fixed term tariff protected during the switch
  • 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

The 18 suppliers will be in contact about any redress payments, but customers can get in touch to raise a complaint directly.

The following suppliers have today been found in breach of switching rules:

  1. Bristol Energy – 12,617 customers affected

  2. British Gas/Centrica – 141,415 customers affected

  3. E (Gas and Electricity) – 20,870 customers affected

  4. E.On – 28,126 customers affected

  5. EDF – 79,083 customers affected

  6. Engie – 9,061 customers affected

  7. ESB Energy – 1,961 customers affected

  8. Green Star Energy – 79,083 customers affected

  9. Npower – 2,030 customers affected

  10. Octopus Energy – 19,712 customers affected

  11. Orbit – 723 customers affected

  12. OVO Energy – 240,563 customers affected

  13. PFP Energy – 5,347 customers affected

  14. Scottish Power – 157,236 customers affected

  15. Shell – 225,823 customers affected

  16. So Energy – 10,514 customers affected

  17. SSE – 132,620 customers affected

  18. Utility Warehouse – 2,723 customers affected
  • Money

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