British Gas fined £11.1 million for leaving households without insulation

Regulator said provider's failures meant 6750 households had to pay higher bills

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Centrica’s British Gas, the country’s biggest energy provider, has been fined more than £11 million for leaving poor households to shiver and pay higher bills by failing to insulate their homes.

Ofgem set the nation’s biggest gas and electricity providers strict targets to provide thousands of homes with free loft and cavity wall insulation — but the regulator said British Gas’s failures meant 6750 households missed out last winter.

It eventually made up for missing the target, eventually insulating an extra 20,000 homes — more than it was obligated to, at a cost of £1.1 billion. In the last five years, British Gas has insulated more than 2.5 million homes.

 

Ofgem said the £11.1 million penalty — which will be paid to charity — “reflects British Gas’s failure to meet its obligations on time but also recognises its commitment to put things right.”

Claire Miles, managing director of British Gas New Energy, said: “We are sorry that we missed the December 2012 deadline. But we’re pleased that, in the end,  we managed to help more vulnerable people under this scheme than was required. The donation we’re making will further help those struggling to keep their homes warm.”

Rivals SSE and ScottishPower are also being investigated, and power firms Drax and InterGen were last week fined £28 million and £11 million respectively for the same failings.

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