Three energy suppliers have been made to pay compensation totalling £8m for failing to supply a final bill on time to more than 100,000 households that had switched provider.
The energy regulator for Great Britain, Ofgem, said E.ON Next was ordered to pay £5.5m to almost 95,000 customers because it did not provide them with a final bill within six weeks of moving to another supplier, nor did it pay compensation for the delay within 10 days of the missed deadline.
Octopus Energy was made to pay approximately £750,000 to 19,000 customers, while almost 350 Good Energy customers received a combined total of £18,000.
The three suppliers also paid an additional £1.7m fine towards a redress scheme that supports vulnerable consumers, of which E.ON Next paid £1.3m.
This is the first time that the regulator has used its powers to crack down on companies that fail to provide a final bill on time since the requirement was introduced in 2020. A delayed final bill can mean that a customer is incorrectly set up at their new supplier or receives a large, unexpected bill from the previous provider.
Under Ofgem’s rules, customers must receive a final bill within six weeks of leaving a supplier or become entitled to compensation of £30. If this is not provided within a further 10 working days, a customer is due an additional payment of £30.
Ofgem expects that more customers will switch suppliers in the months ahead as falling energy market prices allow energy firms to cut their tariff rates to compete for customers.
Neil Kenward, the regulator’s director for strategy, said: “Our rules mean that where energy companies drag their heels, customers are automatically compensated. We won’t hesitate to hold energy companies to account, as we have done today.”
An E.ON spokesperson said it told Ofgem last year that the supplier’s own internal checks had uncovered that its system was not aligned with the regulator’s rules, meaning compensation payment for final bills were sent out after the stipulated six-week timeframe.
“At the time, we contacted affected customers to apologise and sent them their missing payments,” the spokesperson said. “We have since taken steps to ensure this error does not happen again.”
Octopus and Good Energy were approached for comment.