British Gas hit with £11.1 million penalty

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Energy industry regulators, Ofgem, have issued British Gas with an £11.1 million penalty for failing to meet energy efficiency targets on time. Through the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), the energy supplier was tasked with installing energy saving improvements in the homes of vulnerable people, such as those living in low-income areas.

The CESP, part of the governments Home Energy Saving Programme, set obligatory targets for energy suppliers and producers to meet by installing energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, in domestic households.

British Gas reportedly only hit 62% of their target by the deadline of December 2012. The company did, however, eventually exceed their target by retrofitting an additional 20,000 homes than they were required to, but not until February 2013.

The ‘Big Six’ energy supplier also failed to meet a second environmental obligation target, the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT), on time, eventually achieving the goal in August 2013. Because of these delays, over 6,000 low-income households were left without insulation throughout the winter of 2012/2013, resulting in the £11.1 million fine from Ofgem.

The money from the fine is said to be going to specialist fuel poverty charities, who help vulnerable people that may struggle to keep their homes warm during the winter.

British Gas is not the only company to be hit with a fine, as energy producer Drax was issued a record £28 million fine for meeting just 37% of its CESP obligations. More companies are expected to be hit with similar fines in the coming weeks, including suppliers SSE and Scottish Power.

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