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British Gas Business: Response to Ofgem Investigation

The agreement follows an Ofgem investigation which found that the arm of British Gas which supplies energy to businesses had incorrectly prevented some customers from switching to other suppliers and had also failed in some cases to provide all the necessary information to customers at contract renewal.

Many businesses switch their energy provider each year, but sometimes the move is prevented for legitimate contractual or debt reasons. These cases are known as “objections”.

Ofgem found that between November 2007 and February 2012, 5.6% of the objections made by British Gas Business were invalid.

Additionally, British Gas Business failed in some cases to provide all the necessary renewal documentation to customers on time. We have compensated all our current customers affected by this issue and we are in the process on contacting and compensating affected customers who have since moved to other suppliers.

The company has accepted the findings and has also agreed it will set up a £3.45million energy efficiency fund to help small businesses.

This will provide help to hundreds of businesses through free on-site energy efficiency surveys and installation of measures worth up to £6,000 per business, such as new boilers, lighting and renewable energy generation.

British Gas Business has co-operated fully with Ofgem throughout the investigation and has carried out a thorough review of its systems and processes to ensure that the issues identified have been fully resolved.

Stephen Beynon, Managing Director of British Gas Business, said: “We’re sorry these errors occurred and have worked swiftly to change our computer systems and processes, putting controls in place to stop this happening again.

“We take any failure to meet our obligations very seriously and will ensure that the new energy efficiency fund we have set up will be a real help to hundreds of small businesses. It will provide free expert advice and energy efficiency measures, such as new boilers, lighting and renewable energy, to help firms to manage their energy consumption and bills over the long-term.”

Micro-businesses can find out more information about the Energy Efficiency Fund and register their interest here.

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