GREAT BRITAIN — Shell Energy Retail Limited now has to refund 12,000 British customer accounts that were overcharged, plus pay Ofgem’s consumer redress fund for a total payout of £390,000, it was announced today.
Ofgem, an independent energy regulator for Great Britain, found that between January and March 2019 Shell Energy Retail overcharged electricity and gas customer accounts £100,736.63 collectively above the level of the price cap.
Shell Energy Retail, trading under First Utility at the time, has agreed to refund all customers by re-crediting their accounts and to pay additional compensation to all affected customers.
According to Ofgem, about 6,200 Shell customer accounts were on tariffs that were not compliant with the price cap, meaning they paid above the cap for gas and/or electricity. Shell Energy Retail has agreed to refund these customers and pay an additional £62,000 in compensation (£10 per fuel), Ofgem said.
The regulator added that another 5,600 customer accounts experienced a delay in energy price being reductions under the price cap. This means that even though they had requested to change to a less expensive plan, they paid above the cap level longer than necessary, Ofgem said. Shell Energy Retail has agreed to refund these customers and pay £29,000 in compensation (£5 per fuel), the regulator said.
According to Ofgem, Shell Energy Retail has agreed to pay an additional £200,000 into Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund “to help support vulnerable customers.”
The regulator added that it will not take formal enforcement actions due to Shell Energy’s refund efforts.
“Ofgem closely monitors all suppliers’ approach to the implementation of the cap and will continue to hold suppliers to account if they do not meet their obligations,” the regulator’s report said.
Sell Energy Retail CEO Apologizes
In a recent e-mail to Reuters, Shell Energy Retail Chief Executive Officer Colin Crooks said: “We’d like to apologize to all customers who were temporarily out of pocket,”.
Crooks reportedly went on to say that the company had a small number of customers on fixed-price default tariffs to whom it didn’t apply the capped rates since most of those customers would have been better off remaining on their existing tariff.
“However, we recognize that there were some who would have been better off on the capped rates or who suffered a delay in changing their payment method,” he added.
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