New Bord Gais owner fined for misleading ads
The new owner of Bord Gais Energy has been forced to pay £1m to around 4,000 British customers and a charity because the energy company made misleading savings promises on its energy tariffs.
Centrica, which owns British Gas in the UK and is set to complete the purchase of Bord Gais within days, was forced to pay the fine following a ruling from the UK watchdog Ofgem. Centrica is paying €1.1bn for the retail arm of Bord Gáis which has 900,000 customers here.
The UK energy supplier made exaggerated promises on energy bill savings to customers in Sainsbury’s supermarkets and Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush between February 2011 and March 2013, the regulator said.
It also failed to properly label its energy tariffs sold through the Sainsbury’s brand.
British Gas has paid an average of £130 to affected customers and is paying another £434,000 to its British Gas Energy Trust which helps people struggling to pay their bills.
“Ofgem expects all suppliers to put this poor behaviour behind them and really start acting in a way that will help consumers trust energy suppliers,” said Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner in charge of enforcement.