- Electricity Supply Licence
- Gas Supplier Licence
Decision to close the investigation into Utilita and its compliance with its obligations under the gas and electricity supply licences, Standard Licence Conditions 27A.5-27A.7 and 27.8(b), and 26.4 and 26.5(d), and resolve the matter by way of alternative action.
Ofgem has decided to close, its investigation into Utilita’s compliance with Standard Licence Conditions (“SLCs”):
- 27A.5-27A.7 and 27.8(b), governing the application of Additional Support Credit (ASC), and
- 26.4 and 26.5(d) in respect of Utilita’s treatment of its customers on the Priority Services Register (“PSR”) and customers in debt;
of its gas and electricity supply licenses and resolve the matter by way of alternative action, rather than seek to impose a financial penalty.
The decision was taken in accordance with our Enforcement Guidelines and as a consequence of Utilita’s actions to:
- identify customers potentially affected;
- make improvements to its processes; and,
- in recognition of its shortcomings, offer to make payments to customers potentially affected and to the Voluntary Redress Fund.
Having acknowledged these failings, Utilita has offered a package of redress totalling ££830,000 and this has been agreed. This comprises:
- A £20 payment to 25,413 existing potentially impacted customers who had applied for Additional Support Credit (ASC) and were declined, between the period of 20 December 2020 and 30 September 2022;
- An additional payment of £321,740 to be paid into the Voluntary Redress Fund, (administered by the Energy Saving Trust).
Our investigation related to a Provisional Order (PO) issued to Utilita on 9 September 2022.
SLCs 27A.5-27A.7 and 27.8(b) came into force in December 2020 and require licensees to provide ASC, a fixed amount of credit provided to a Domestic Customer in a Vulnerable Situation, when their Prepayment Meter credit runs low or runs out to ensure continuity of electricity supply or a return to supply, unless they deem it not to be in the customer’s best interest.
SLCs 26.4 and 26.5(d) require licensees to assess what services their customers on the Priority Services Register might reasonably require, including whether a Prepayment Meter is the safest option for vulnerable households.
SLC 27.8 requires the licensees to take all reasonable steps to ascertain the Domestic Customer’s ability to pay when calculating instalments.