Utility Warehouse overcharged 3,430 Warm Home Discount customers, due to a system error, and is to provide refunds and compensation totalling £450,000. Ofgem has announced. The supplier will pay a further £200,000 into Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund, “in recognition of the seriousness of the breach and the impact on potentially vulnerable customers”.
The supplier discovered in December 2019 that it was it was overcharging customers who receive the Warm Home Discount payment, but pay for their energy when they receive a bill. They had paid above the correct default tariff cap level between January and November 2019.
Utility Warehouse self-reported the issue to Ofgem, confirming that an overcharge of £150,000 had occurred. It is in the process of issuing full refunds to all 3,430 customers who were overcharged, in addition to an extra £300,000 of proactive goodwill payments.
An additional £200,000 will be paid into Ofgem’s voluntary redress fund.
Ofgem said “The total redress package secured by Ofgem reflects the seriousness of the breach” and Ofgem’s zero-tolerance approach to compliance with the price cap requirements.
However, Ofgem decided not to require a larger overall package or to take formal enforcement action due to the steps Utility Warehouse took to report the matter to Ofgem, correct the situation, and quickly put in place measures to ensure this issue will not re-occur.