1. Energy watchdog sets out green energy plans, but firms not happy

    Andrew Black

    BBC Scotland Business Presenter

    The UK energy regulator has set out plans for a £25bn programme to boost green energy by transforming the country's energy networks - but energy companies aren't happy.

    Ofgem decides the rules on how much money gas and electricity companies can earn, but also gives them room to pay for new investment from customer bills.

    Under these plans, they'll be allowed to spend £25bn on improving gas and electricity networks - £3bn of which will be used to make the electricity network more environmentally friendly.

    But Ofgem says the return energy firms will be allowed to make from their investments will be nearly halved.

    Perth-based SSE - one of the country's big energy firms - says these plans won't help achieve next zero carbon targets and risks investment in new projects

  2. Ofgem cracks down over firms' smart meter failure

    Smart meter

    Energy watchdog Ofgem has banned five energy firms from taking on new customers until they join a common system that allows homes to take full advantage of their smart meters.

    It had issued final orders against Daligas, Enstroga, Entice Energy Supply, Euston Energy (trading as Northumbria Energy), and Symbio Energy for failing to become so-called Data Communications Company (DCC) users after a November 2017 deadline.

    The system allows smart meters to keep their smart functionality, doing things like sending meter readings to energy suppliers automatically, even when customers start buying their gas or electricity from a new firm.

    The five firms were among nine that were warned about the action in January when Ofgem gave them a deadline of 31 March to become DCC users.

    Ofgem warned that it could revoke the firms' licences if they still fail to comply with the DCC rules.

  3. Energy price cap to fall by £17 from April

    A woman looking at a smart meter

    The price of energy is set to fall for millions of British households from April, driven by lower wholesale costs, energy regulator Ofgem has announced.

    Both the default price cap and the pre-payment meter price cap will fall by £17, to prevent around 15 million customers in the UK from being overcharged.

    Ed Dodman, director of regulatory affairs at the Energy Ombudsman, said: "This reduction in the price cap is good news for the millions of UK households currently on default tariffs, but shouldn’t discourage people from shopping around for better deals.

    "When switching, we would encourage consumers to look at the customer service they can expect to receive as well as how much money they could save."

  4. Another energy firm forced to pay redress for bad behaviour


    A second energy firm has been forced to pay redress for bad behaviour, it has emerged this morning.

    Utility Warehouse will pay £650,000 for price cap overcharging, Ofgem said.

    It will refund and compensate 3,430 Warm Home Discount customers with £450,000 after it overcharged them, due to a system error, when the price cap was applied.

    The supplier will pay a further £200,000 into Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund, in recognition of the seriousness of the breach and the impact on potentially vulnerable customers.

    "Suppliers must be vigilant and ensure that customers, including the vulnerable, are treated fairly," Ofgem said.

    Earlier this morning Ovo Energy was told to pay £8.9m for poor service.

  5. Energy 'back billing' complaints rise by a third

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4


    The behaviour of energy companies is back in the spotlight - some have been sending out big bills after recalculating past energy use, even though that is meant to be banned.

    Ed Dodman, the Energy Ombudsman's director of regulatory affairs says this process is called 'back billing'.

    "Energy companies can send back bills when they've been charging customers on an estimated basis, and when a meter reading is taken it might be that that customer has used more than was anticipated, and a company then has a right to collect the charges for that.

    "However - and this is the really important bit - the right of a company to do that only extends back 12 months and this was a new rule that was introduced by Ofgem in 2018."

    He says: "Despite this rule coming in, we are still seeing some suppliers some of the time, not adhering to it. That can often mean hundreds or thousands of pounds that customers are being required to pay."

    He adds there are about 2,500 back billing complaints to the ombudsman in 2019, up 30% on the year.

    However, the ombudsman only sees complaints, so there will be "many more customers out there who don't know the rules and who are being charged by companies incorrectly".

  6. Breeze customers shouldn't worry, says Ofgem

    Quote Message: Breeze Energy customers do not need to worry, as under our safety net we'll make sure your energy supplies are secure and domestic customers' credit balances are protected. Ofgem will now choose a new supplier for you and whilst we're doing this our advice is to 'sit tight' and don't switch. You can rely on your energy supply as normal. We will update you when we have chosen a new supplier, who will then get in touch about your new tariff. from Philippa Pickford Ofgem's director for future retail markets
    Philippa PickfordOfgem's director for future retail markets