Ofgem imposes ‘largest ever fine’ on SSE for misselling

Ofgem has today said it will fine SSE £10.5m, the largest ever imposed on an energy supplier, for numerous breaches of its obligations relating to telephone, instore and doorstep sales activities.

According to Ofgem, the fine reflects the seriousness and duration of breaches, the likely substantial harm that they have caused and the likely gain to SSE.

Ofgem found that a failure of SSE’s management arrangements meant that insufficient attention was paid to ensuring compliance with obligations.

This enabled misleading and unsubstantiated statements to be made by sales agents to potential customers about savings.

Ofgem’s senior partner in charge of enforcement, Sarah Harrison, said: “In order to restore trust in the energy market suppliers must comply with their obligations and play it straight with consumers”.

Recently appointed Energy Minister Michael Fallon, who replaced John Hayes last week, said: “I have rarely seen a worse case of consumers being misled so badly.

“With rising energy prices, and multiple tariffs to contend with, consumers deserve the clearest, fairest and best possible deal”.

The Government is acting through the Energy Bill to provide Ofgem with the capabilities to get compensation to those directly affected.

“We’re using new legislation to require suppliers to simplify their tariffs and get rid of historic poor deals,” added Fallon.

Leigh Stringer

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