British Gas has been fined £11.1 million by Ofgem for failing to meet energy efficiency targets and the money will go to charity.
The UK regulator imposed the fine because British Gas failed to meet deadlines to insulate homes under two schemes that ran until the end of 2012.
The company has since met the targets, but Ofgem said the delay had meant thousands of households had missed out on the energy saving measures during the winter of 2012-13.
“British Gas’s failure to deliver two environmental obligations on time is unacceptable,” said Ofgem’s Sarah Harrison.
“Thousands of households had to wait for energy efficiency measures, like insulation, to be installed during the winter. The payment reflects British Gas’s failure to meet its obligations on time, but also recognises its commitment to put things right,” she added.
Ofgem and the firm announced that the £11.1 million will be used to help vulnerable customers through energy efficiency advice and improvements.
Claire Miles of British Gas said: “We’re hugely committed to the success of our energy efficiency programmes and are sorry that we missed the December 2012 deadline.
“However, we are pleased that in the end we helped more vulnerable people under this scheme than was required. The donation we are making will further help those struggling to keep their homes warm,” she added.
The British Gas fine comes just a week after Ofgem fined the power generator Drax a record £28 million for its failure to meet targets under the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP). Another generating company – Intergen – was hit with a £11 million penalty.
Drax chief executive Dorothy Thompson said: “We are deeply disappointed with the magnitude of the fine. However, we believe it is in our shareholders’ interests that we settle this matter and, as the nation’s single largest power provider, focus on delivering a reliable supply of electricity this winter.”
Sarah Harrison of Ofgem said: “Drax missed its target by a clear margin, disadvantaging several thousand households in some of the most deprived areas of Britain.
“Not only are these consumers missing out on energy efficiency measures that would keep their houses warm. They also face higher energy bills as a result.”
Ofgem is also looking at the performance of other energy companies including SSE, Scottish Power and GDF/Suez. They are expected to be hit with penalties in the coming weeks.
“We’re hugely committed to the success of our energy efficiency programmes and are sorry that we missed the December 2012 deadline”