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Citizens Advice want tougher powers for Ofgem

Citizens Advice welcome EDF Energy's £4.5 million package to help vulnerable customers.

They are due to receive £1 million of the money, which will be donated to the Energy Best Deal project, which helps people shop around for their energy supplier.

Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

"We’re pleased that, following Ofgem’s investigation, EDF Energy has remedied the flaws in its sales processes and has committed to a £4.5 million package to help vulnerable consumers ."

“In the future, we want Ofgem to get tougher powers which allows them to order compensation for energy customers, so that consumers who lose out because of bad practice get money back in their pocket.”

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Labour: Government must get tough on energy bills

Caroline Flint MP, Labour's Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Credit: LABOUR PARTY

Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Caroline Flint has welcomed today's payout by EDF Energy, but has called for energy regulator Ofgem to "come down hard" on any abuse by energy giants. She said:

“For too long the energy market has not worked in the public interest and energy companies have been allowed to get away with ripping off hard-pressed families and pensioners."

"Energy companies need to know that if they fail to treat their customers properly there will be a price to pay."

"When families are facing soaring energy bills and the big six energy companies are enjoying huge profits, Ofgem must come down hard on any abuses by the energy giants, and the Government must get tough on spiralling bills."

Consumer group welcomes EDF payback

EDF Energy remains the worst performing supplier in Consumer Focus’s quarterly energy complaints data Credit: Reuters

Consumer groups have welcomed the move by Ofgem and EDF Energy to pay customers back after EDF was found guilty of breaching sales processes.

Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus said:

‘It’s a positive step forward that an energy company has worked with the regulator to tackle this issue."

"We have called for Ofgem to have the power to make sure energy customers benefit from any fines so it’s good news that this voluntary approach has led to customers’ being compensated rather than money returned to the Treasury."

EDF ordered to pay £4.5 million

EDF said it acknowledged "limited shortcomings" in some elements of sales processes during 2010. Credit: EDF Energy

EDF Energy has been ordered to pay £4.5 million for misleading customers. Energy regulator Ofgem said sales staff did not provide customers with complete information.

EDF will pay out £3.5 million in refunds to 70,000 customers and will donate £1 million to the citizens advice bureau.

Ofgem said customers would be better served by EDF making payments to benefit those customers in need, rather than imposing a fine.

It said that by accepting some shortcomings in its sales practices EDF had escaped a bigger penalty.

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