Inquiry into energy firms' sales tactics

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The energy regulator is investigating four utility companies over claims that they mis-sold contracts.

Ofgem said it was prepared to take "strong action" if it found that Npower, ScottishPower, Scottish and Southern Energy and EDF Energy did not comply with new rules designed to prevent mis-selling by power companies. It has set up a hotline (08454 040506) for consumers concerned by the sales tactics employed by suppliers to sell energy contracts, either face to face or by telephone.

Suppliers are required to be "pro-active" in preventing mis-selling to customers, and if selling contracts face to face must give an estimate before any sale is concluded.