OFGEM probe accuracy of SSE claims on energy prices while rival Scottish Gas jettisons standard variable tariffs

The UK energy markets regulator has launched an investigation into what SSE told some of its poorest customers about its controversial standard variable tariff (SVT).

The probe comes at the same time as rival supplier Scottish Gas vowed to scrap its expensive standard variable tariffs for new customers by April 2018.

OFGEM’s investigation is into SSE’s ‘cheapest tariff’ messaging in annual statements sent to its prepayment customers.

The investigation will examine whether SSE failed to provide accurate information about the cheapest tariffs that customers could switch to and make savings. 

An OFGEM spokesman said: “The information that must be provided includes the tariff customers are on, details of their annual spend and whether how much they can save by switching to the supplier’s cheapest tariff, if they are not already on it.

“This gives customers the crucial information they need to manage their account, and helps prompt them to switch supplier for a better deal.

“Suppliers are also required to take all reasonable steps to provide information that is complete, accurate and not misleading.”

Meanwhile, Centrica – which owns Scottish Gas – said it would also ‘do more’ to persuade its customers currently on SVTs to move to cheaper deals.

Announcing the change, Iain Conn, chief executive of Centrica, said: “We have long advocated that the end of the standard variable tariff is the best way to encourage customers to shop around for the best energy deal.”

Those already on fixed-term contracts who fail to opt for a replacement will be put on a default tariff.

21 Nov 2017

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