EDF Energy’s punishment: invest £4.5 million to escape a higher fine

EDF Energy has offered to pay £4.5 million to vulnerable consumers in light of an Ofgem investigation which found the company to be in breach of its marketing licence conditions.

The investigation found EDF had failed to provide customers with all the information they would have needed to make an informed choice.

This offer comes in place of a penalty package which Ofgem points out "would have been higher".

Ofgem’s senior partner in charge of enforcement Sarah Harrison said: "EDF Energy has done the right thing by stepping forward and recognising there were weaknesses in its sales processes.

"The firm also took the initiative to correct these problems during Ofgem’s investigation. This is an important step forward and demonstrates a commitment by EDF Energy towards re-establishing consumer trust which we welcome."

And also, in the process, it’s saved EDF Energy some money. Everyone wins? Or am I just being too cynical.

Ofgem points out that of the £4.5 million around £1 million will be passed to the "Energy Best Deal programme, which helps support vulnerable customers, with the remainder being paid to customers at risk of fuel poverty, to directly benefit customers that are most in need."

At the moment, Ofgem can only impose penalties, with no power to get redress for consumers. However, this could change as the Department of Energy and Climate Change is looking into the possibility of giving Ofgem new powers.

Until then, why not exercise your own powers. You don’t have to go with the ‘Big Six’. There are energy companies out there such as Ecotricity, Ebico, Good Energy, and Ovo Energy who will give you the full picture; who can tell you about ways to save energy as well as money.

[Image: Tour EDF by Asp Explorer]

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