En­ergy groups face huge fines for ‘ne­glect­ing’ cus­tomers

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Ed Clowes

A NUM­BER of gas and elec­tric­ity net­works, in­clud­ing the Na­tional Grid, could be hit with fines to­talling more than £140m by the en­ergy watch­dog af­ter they were ac­cused of fail­ing to put for­ward busi­ness plans that looked out for con­sumers.

Ofgem said in its re­cent price de­ter­mi­na­tion, in which it sets out how much net­works are al­lowed to take in prof­its for the next five years, that a num­ber of net­work com­pa­nies should be fined mil­lions for sub­mit­ting plans that lacked suf­fi­cient de­tail and clar­ity.

Na­tional Grid con­firmed it was one of the com­pa­nies fined “tens of mil­lions” by Ofgem.

Ni­cola Shaw, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Grid, said: “Ofgem told us that we didn’t pro­vide what they asked for, but they don’t re­alise that maybe that has some­thing to do with them.”

Ms Shaw said the reg­u­la­tor gave its lat­est guid­ance a month be­fore it was due to sub­mit its busi­ness plan.

The reg­u­la­tor has pro­posed halv­ing the re­turns net­works will be al­lowed to make from next April in its lat­est price de­ter­mi­na­tion – which is cur­rently out for con­sul­ta­tion.

The en­ergy net­works are ex­pected to chal­lenge the de­ci­sion.

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