Notice of decision to impose a financial penalty on BES following our investigation into its compliance with its obligations under the gas and electricity supply licences (Standard Licence Conditions 7A, 7B, 7, 14 and 21B) and with the Gas and Electricity

Penalty notice

We investigated whether BES Commercial Electricity Ltd and Business Energy Solutions Ltd (together referred to as "BES") complied with the requirements of Standard Licence Conditions (SLCs) 7A, 7B, 7 and 14 of their gas and electricity supply licences and with Regulations 4 and 5 of the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008 (the CHSRs).

BES admitted that it breached the relevant conditions and requirements set out above and co-operated with the Authority’s investigation. BES made improvements in those areas which were the subject of this investigation.

The investigation also looked at a potential breach of SLC 21B in relation to accurate billing, but there was no finding of breach in relation to this SLC.

The Authority has confirmed its decision to impose a financial penalty of £2 on BES (£1 on each licensee) for these contraventions.

The penalty takes into account the fact that BES agreed to pay £980,000 in total by way of settlement of this case.

This total figure includes compensation totalling £311,000 which BES has agreed to pay to customers affected by the breaches. BES has also a made consumer redress payment of £669,000 (less the penalty sum of £2) to the charity, The Money Advice Trust (Business Debtline). This redress payment is to fund specific projects through which Business Debtline will provide debt advice services to business customers who are experiencing difficulties in paying their energy bills. BES has undertaken to make a second payment to this charity following completion of its arrangements for contacting and paying compensation to customers.

BES also agreed to contact all those customers who have contacted them previously in relation to any matters relevant to breaches 1 to 3, as set out in the Notice of Decision, to explain its failings and to offer those customers the opportunity to terminate their contract, should they wish to, without a termination fee being imposed.