As the UK Government is currently pushing for all homes in the country to be fitted with smart meters, it’s unsurprising to see so much of a scandal surrounding Scottish Power’s recent actions that have effectively misled customers about the savings they could make when switching providers. Up to 336,000 homes have been affected, and the energy giant is having to set aside a whopping £8,500,000 to compensate those people who were lied to.
The bulk of the mis-selling took place between October 2009 and January 2012 according to independent assessor Ofgem, and now bosses from all the major energy suppliers are to be brought in front of a committee of MP’s to explain their actions. Could we soon see a change in the way these companies operate? It’s too soon to say, but one thing is for certain’ the MP’s aren’t satisfied.
On average, each household affected by the mis-selling should receive around £60 from Scottish Power, which incidentally is slightly less than the amount they’ve paid. Still, as tariff prices will rise significantly in 2014, the compensation will be gladly received by the British people, even if the money goes straight back to the power supplier in their next payment.
With most energy suppliers now utilising new techniques and services that deal with oil and gas data management, the Government has stated “they have no excuse for their actions, and so must provide families with compensation at a level they deserve. That’s why bosses are being brought to London as we speak.”
Some feel this is a last ditch effort by politicians to show the public that they’re doing something about the rising cost of electricity and gas, but others realise this is simply a damage limitation technique they hope will satisfy anger amongst most UK residents. Though Prime Minister David Cameron is yet to make a statement, entire teams of advisors are currently sifting through various information streams in an attempt to locate exactly where it all went wrong.
Ofgem is currently still in the process of investigating two further allegations of mis-selling from NPower and E-on. This particular task was launched last year and shows no sign of ending just yet. Although the regulator has been relatively tight lipped about the whole affair, in a recent statement they said, “consumers often suffer financial issues if they don’t benefit from the savings that they were led to expect – they may decide to switch to a much more expensive deal, and competition will undoubtedly suffer as consumers lose faith with the energy market and the value of switching supplier.”
Exactly what the future holds for the big six energy companies is still unclear. With renewables becoming the hot topic of 2013, could it be possible that Scottish Power and the others will quickly clean up their acts and invest much needed capital into solar panels, wind turbines and other forms of “non-planet-killing” energy sources? Nobody knows, but it does seem their reign of terror is soon to be over.
Subscribe to our email newsletter.