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E.ON fined £3m for failing to distribute energy saving lightbulbs

Energy supplier failed to account for 25m lightbulbs which were part of energy saving scheme giveaway

EON announces record profitsAs part of Ofgem’s 2010 CERT energy efficiency scheme, E.ON was ordered to distribute £25m free energy saving lightbulbs to UK customers. The company has since been unable to account for more than 21m and has subsequently been penalised.

The majority of the fine, £2.5m, will be added to the fund for vulnerable households which require support to cover their winter energy costs. The rest of the money will be paid to the Treasury.

Ofgem finds inaccurate reporting

Ofgem’s investigation into the incident found that 3.4m lightbulbs were inaccurately tracked. A percentage of these were said to have been sold in Ireland.

Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner in charge of enforcement, said: “This case leaves companies in no doubt that Ofgem takes reporting failures seriously. Accurate company reporting is essential to Ofgem’s effective administration of the Government’s environmental schemes.”

The CERT scheme, which came to an end in 2012, has been partially replaced by the Green Deal.

E.ON Statement

The energy supplier has put in place additional energy saving initiatives to compensate for the light bulb distribution error.

Tony Cocker, chief executive of E.On UK, said: “We’re sorry that these mistakes were made in 2010 and Ofgem has received a Board level assurance that the necessary changes have been made. Our controls should have been stronger and our processes more robust.

“It was important to us that, as part of putting this right, customers in fuel poverty or in a fuel poverty at risk group should receive a portion of the penalty we faced in the form of the additional payments we are making. We’re pleased that Ofgem agreed and has allowed us to do so.

“Overall energy efficiency obligations have been met, with the shortfall being made up by additional measures. No consumers were misled because of this mistake but this does not take away from the fact it was an error that should not have been made.”

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  • Bernard Atkinson

    The last distribution t of free energy saving light bulbs was an utterly, total waste of money for our household. They were the wrong fitting. We use ‘sbc’ small bayonet exclusively. I assume E-on’s free bulbs would also have been unsuitable for our house. It was far more sensible to sell them to people who could use them and give the money to the ‘poor’. Many of my friends are in the same situation. It’s is time the regulators got real instead of making these ridiculous pointless rulings. A big energy saving would be made if E-on was funded to help households update their light fittings. In the meantime we will continue to use our considerable stock of small bayonet light bulbs.