Shell Energy (previously branded as First Utility) has been forced to pay out almost £400,000 after overcharging thousands of customer accounts.
Energy regulator Ofgem found that customers on default tariffs for the energy company were overcharged.
Customers who were on the default tariff with Shell Energy were overcharged for the price of gas and electricity between the months of January and March this year.
A price cap had been introduced earlier this year in January as part of an effort to help the 11 million customers in the UK currently on poor value default tariffs. However Ofgem’s price cap monitoring found that Shell Energy overcharged roughly 12,000 electricity and gas customer accounts to the collective tune of £100,736.
The energy company is set to pay out a combined total of £390,000 after the mistake, which includes £190,000 in refunds and compensation to customers, and a further £200,000 to Ofgem as part of a voluntary consumer redress fund, which is designed to support vulnerable customers.
How do I know if I’m due a refund?
If you were on a default or standard tariff with the company between January and March this year, you may have been one of the thousands of accounts that were overcharged.
Ofgem also said that over 5,000 customers who had asked to switch to a cheaper tariff had their requests delayed, and this resulted in them paying above the price cap for longer than necessary.
Shell Energy has already started rolling out refunds and compensation, so if you’re due a refund then you’ll be receiving an email in the coming weeks.
If you think you might be owed money, but haven’t been contacted, then you can get in touch with Shell Energy customer services in a variety of ways. You can phone them on 0330 094 5800 between 8am and 6:30pm weekdays and between 9am and 4pm on Saturday.
You can also use the live chat feature on the ‘contact us’ section of Shell Energy’s website.
I was a customer at the time but have since switched - will I get a refund?
Customers that were with Shell Energy during the time that the accounts were overcharged, but have since switched to a different energy supplier, will still be refunded.
Shell Energy will be in touch either via letter or email to arrange repayment, which will occur either via bank transfer or cheque.
What does Shell Energy say?
Colin Crooks, Shell Energy Retail Chief Executive Officer, said, “We’d like to apologise to all customers who were temporarily out of pocket.
“For the vast majority of our customers, we implemented the cap in line with Ofgem’s licence conditions.
“We always intended to re-credit these customers, which we are now doing together with a compensation payment, and have agreed to pay into the Ofgem redress fund.”
Ofgem has decided against pursuing formal action as the energy company has taken steps to correct the situation.
This article originally appeared on our sister site Lancashire Evening Post