Eon has been fined £500,000 by the regulator Ofgem, and has agreed to pay an additional £2.5 million to customers eligible to receive the 2013/14 warm home discount broader payment group for vulnerable customers.
The situation relates to “an error in reporting and failings in the administration of a scheme relating to the distribution of free energy saving light bulbs” that Ofgem were notified of during it’s carbon emission reduction target (Cert) programme in 2010.
The scheme was to provide energy saving lightbulbs to consumers in Great Britain, although some of the Eon bulbs found their way to the Republic of Ireland and Eon wasn’t able to provide evidence of the distribution.
Ofgem said that a proportion of the bulbs are said to have ended up on sale through third party suppliers, unaware of the rules.
The Cert programme, which has now ended, required energy suppliers to work towards emissions targets through a wide variety of measures and, as one of those, Eon provided British consumers with free low energy light bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs.
The scheme saw many bulbs reach the intended recipients, but Eon “failed to accurately report information relating to energy saving light bulbs distributed under one of its Cert schemes”according to Ofem and “had failures in the systems and procedures it had in place to ensure its reporting was accurate”.
Tony Cocker, chief executive of Eon-UK, said: “We’re sorry that these mistakes were made in 2010 and Ofgem has received a board level assurance that the necessary changes have been made. Our controls should have been stronger and our processes more robust.
“It was important to us that, as part of putting this right, customers in fuel poverty or in a fuel poverty at risk group should receive a portion of the penalty we faced in the form of the additional payments we are making. We’re pleased that Ofgem agreed and has allowed us to do so.
“Overall energy efficiency obligations have been met, with the shortfall being made up by additional measures. No consumers were misled because of this mistake but this does not take away from the fact it was an error that should not have been made.”
Eon said that it’s Cert targets had been reached, despite Ofgem’s findings.