UK energy network operators need to meet 39 guaranteed standards of service set by the country’s regulator, Ofgem, which include emergency response, complaints services, and the speed of reconnection in the case of a weather-related outage.
Should these standards not be met, compensation is due to the customer affected, and electricity network operators reportedly paid out just less that £5.4 million in compensation in the last three years, but a further £2.5 million was left unclaimed by customers.
Gas networks paid out substantially more – over £11 million in compensation payments but Citizens Advice estimates that consumers would have received £2.6 million more if all payments were compulsory.
The organisation has urged Ofgem to automate compensation processes, with financial penalties in the case of non-compliance by suppliers.
Gillian Guy, CEO of Citizens Advice, said: “This money should be in customers’ pockets. We want Ofgem to get tougher with the energy network companies so that customers automatically receive all the compensation they’re entitled to.
“Guaranteed standards should mean guaranteed compensation. At the very least there should be a system of financial penalties for those energy firms who still don’t proactively pay people what they’re due.”