EDF Energy ordered to compensate “vulnerable customers”

<p>Ofgem has ordered EDF Energy to pay £3 million “to benefit vulnerable customers”.</p>

EDF Energy is set to pay "vulnerable customers" £3 million following an investigation by Ofgem.

The regulator noted a significant rise in complaints since EDF introduced a new IT system in 2011, adding that the company did not have the means to properly receive, record and process customer grievances. The money will go to a Citizens Advice energy scheme called "Best Deal Extra", which will ensure that customers who are classed as vulnerable across the country get the support they need.

EDF, one of the "big six" energy firms, is now expected to work on improving its complaint handling procedures. Ofgem wants the company to put more focus on the people that use its service and ensure they are getting the best possible arrangement and that any complaints they may have are dealt with properly.

Sarah Harrison, from Ofgem, said: "EDF Energy failed to have sufficiently robust processes in place when they introduced a new IT system and this led to the unacceptable handling of complaints. It's now vital for EDF Energy and the industry as a whole to truly put customers first and put adequate resources in place to deal with complaints."

EDF along with the big six such as British Gas, SSE, E.On, npower and Scottish Power were recently challenged by Ofgem over their prices. The regulator called for the energy suppliers to explain to consumers why falling wholesale prices had not been represented in household bills.

Wholesale prices dropped to their lowest price in four years but this had not impacted on the average cost to power a home. Ofgem stated that the big six ran the risk of "undermining public confidence" by failing to explain their decision.

A spokeswoman for British Gas responded by saying: "Our recent trading update demonstrated that these reductions in wholesale costs have most definitely not translated to increased profits for British Gas."

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