‘Energy suppliers should be forced to compensate consumers’

The government has outlined plans to give regulator Ofgem beefed-up powers to force energy companies to compensate customers and businesses directly if they are found guilty of using improper marketing practices.


Energy companies guilty of overcharging households or miss-selling contracts will be forced by Ofgem to compensate consumers on a “pound for pound” basis, through good will payments as well as public apologies, under the government’s proposals.

Currently, energy suppliers voluntarily give cash to consumers when they are in breach of trading practices, and while Ofgem can fine companies, any money goes directly back to the Treasury.

It is hoped that the changes, unveiled by the Department of Energy and Climate Change today (10 April), will bring the watchdog more in line with the powers held by other regulators such as Ofcom and the Financial Services Authority.

The consultation process will run until the summer (2 July) and if approved could be included in the energy bill, to be is published later this year.

The announcement comes at a time when all the major suppliers – British Gas, E.on, EDF Energy, Npower, Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern – have come under fire from Ofgem and consumers for increasing prices above the rate of inflation amid a difficult economic times.

Since 2007 the regulator has negotiated £6m worth of compensation for consumers, and imposed fines totaling over £18 million.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here