Energy giant E.ON has been handed a £12m fine by the industry watchdog Ofgem, after an investigation into the mis-selling of products to consumers.
The fine was announced on Friday morning after the regulator concluded that E.ON had broken sales rules. It also found that management arrangements were “insufficient” in protecting consumers.
The £12m fine will be given back to vulnerable customers, who will each receive around a £35 discount on their energy bills.
Ofgem’s senior partner in enforcement Sarah Harrison said the company should be praised for “accepting responsibility for its actions”.
She added, “Since 2010 Ofgem has imposed nearly £100m in fines and redress on energy companies for various rule breaches, including £39m for mis-selling, and introduced radical new reforms to make the market simpler, clearer and fairer for consumers.
“The time is right to draw a line under past supplier bad behaviour and truly rebuild trust so consumers are put at the heart of the energy market.”
In a statement on E.ON’s website, chief executive Tony Cocker promised to “put this right”.
He said, “We are really sorry and want to make it absolutely clear that we’re putting this right.”
“It is completely unacceptable that we may have been unclear with customers about their tariff choices and as a result those customers may not have made the best choices for them. There was no organised attempt to mislead, and Ofgem has acknowledged this, but that does not excuse the fact we did not have in place enough rules, checks and oversight.”
Cocker said that the company is looking to overhaul its sales operations in an attempt to rebuild trust with customers.
E.ON was the final big six firm to unveil a winter price rise last year, ramping up its average customer’s bills by 3.7% in December.
Photo: Tom Page via Flickr